Communication Skills Training Apps, Courses and Events

July 8, 2017 - Sophie Thompson

There are loads of resources out there to help you learn. We guide you through the top communication skills training apps, online courses, audiobooks, events and seminars to improve and grow in confidence.

VR apps to improve communication skills

Virtual reality apps let you practice in a realistic way

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person is immersed within this environment, giving the impression that the person is really there, and can perform a series of actions within this virtual world. It has both entertainment and serious uses. If you want to understand VR in more detail, read this article – The Complete Guide to Virtual Reality.

What is a virtual reality headset?

A VR headset is a device that you wear over your eyes like a pair of goggles. It blocks out all external light and shows you an image on a high-definition screen in front of your eyes.

The goal of the VR headset is to immerse you in the virtual reality environment and world. VR headsets track your head movement, so that when you move your head to look around, your view in the virtual environment moves too. This allows you to be completely immersed in the virtual world.

Check out other popular public speaking apps.

Practice public speaking or for a presentation with the realistic VR audience

This image is an example of what you would see inside a VR headset. As you move your head, your view of the conference room changes, giving you the impression you are inside the room.

How do VR apps help with communication skills?

VR apps immerse you in a realistic environment where you can perform communication skills training. You can train in different situations with animated audiences – a much better way to practice than in front of a mirror and more convenient that presenting to a colleague or friend. Try the VirtualSpeech app and test your skills in front of a real audience.

Many VR headsets use a mobile phone

A very popular VR headset is the Google Cardboard, with 5 million sold by January 2016. It’s a low cost (£10-20) VR viewer that anyone can build or buy. Your mobile phone is inserted into the viewer and with specially designed lenses, your mobile screen creates the virtual experience.

Listen to audiobooks

Audiobooks are a great way to understand how to use literary techniques and how they sound when spoken. Try several different audiobooks as the narrators have their own unique styles for expressing the content. They are a great way to pass the time while commuting. Here is a list of our favourites.

The Cuckoo’s Calling: Cormoran Strike, Book 1

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran and the case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get.

Get it on Audible

The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1

The book centres around Kvothe, a notorious magician, accomplished thief, masterful musician, dragon-slayer, legend hunter, lover, thief and infamous assassin. This adventure takes us through his childhood in a troupe of travelling players, through his years spent as a near feral orphan in a crime riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic.

Get it on Audible

The Girl on the Train

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train.

Get it on Audible

The Woodcutter

Wolf Hadda’s life was a fairytale – successful businessman and adored husband. But a knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later Wolf begins to talk to the prison psychiatrist and receives parole to return home. But there’s a mysterious period in Wolf’s past when he was known as the Woodcutter. Now the Woodcutter is back, looking for truth and revenge.

Get it on Audible

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder – and that the killer is a member of his own family. He employs journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

Get it on Audible

A History of the World

In this truly global journey, Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean. He looks at cultures that have failed and vanished, as well as the origins of today’s superpowers, and finds surprising echoes and parallels across vast distances and epochs. This is a book about the great change-makers of history and their times, people such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Galileo, and Mao, but it is also a book about us.

Get it on Audible

Online courses for communication skills training

Online courses are a great way to improve. They provide a comprehensive guide for communication skills training to improve various skills. They often integrate video tutorials and text based guides.

Benefits of online courses

Convenience and flexibility

Online courses are easy to access from anywhere you can get onto the internet. These courses usually let you enrol at any time, which is perfect if you have a few free weekends. Learn from the comfort of your home instead of commuting to a venue to learn.

Lower cost of online courses

Companies who off online courses do not need to rent expensive venues for the course are are not limited to a small number of students. Therefore, costs of the course are usually lower but can still vary considerably. As the training material is provided online, there is no need for expensive textbooks either.

Variety of courses

There are many different courses available online, each offering something different. You can browse through them and pick one suitable to your needs.

Learn from the best instructors from around the world

A huge benefit is that the instructor can be anywhere while creating the course. Therefore you have access to courses from the top instructors from Australia, America, U.K., India and many other countries.

Network with classmates

On these courses, your classmates will have a wide range of backgrounds, and you can interact through them through forums.

Top online communication skills training courses

  • Introduction to Public Speaking – Coursea
  • Master the Art of Public Speaking – VirtualSpeech
  • Become Better and Funnier at Public Speaking – Udemy
  • How do TED Speakers Blow their Audience Away? – GingerPublicSpeaking
  • Public Speaking Fundamentals – Lynda
  • Essential Public Speaking – VirtualSpeech
  • Comm101: Public Speaking – Saylor Academy

Tony Robbins transform your communication skills with a seminar

Speaking events, seminars and clubs

Public speaking clubs

There are many speaking clubs around the world who let you practice your speech in a group setting. By giving regular speeches in front of people at these training events, you get valuable feedback, gradually increasing your confidence in a supportive atmosphere.

Perhaps the best know organisation for this group styled training is Toastmasters. Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication skills training and leadership development. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 15,400 clubs in 135 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations.

Training courses at a specific venue

If you want face-to-face training, you can attend an event or workshop to hone your skills. The duration of these varies from a few hours to several weeks.