Practical Public Speaking: From Fear to Success

If your employer is a compact member of the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce, you may be eligible to take this program at a reduced cost. Visit the Harold Alfond Center Workforce Development Funding page for more information.

Program Description

profile photograph of person with long black hair holding microphone in front of crowd

Do your knees turn to jelly when it’s your turn to speak? Does your mind transform everything you thought you knew into a jumbled mess? Do you intentionally avoid uncomfortable communication situations? Public speaking may not come naturally to many of us, but with the right support and training, it can be developed. Improving your public speaking skills not only benefits your business but also benefits you personally.   

Using highlights of Tom Dowd’s Gold Medal award-winning book “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-Speaking Guide”, you will:

  1. Learn how to relieve the stress of speaking to a crowd
  2. Become skilled in speaking with notes, without notes and using slides
  3. Learn how to think quickly, speak logically and engage your audience
  4. Learn how to summarize by using analogies and short stories
  5. Understand the importance of preparation, personal stories and mental and physical insight on reducing anxiety and increasing confidence

Most importantly, you will learn how to become influential in achieving your goals and your audience’s goals.  

*All participants will be given a free copy of Tom Dowd’s “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-Speaking Guide.”

Program Dates and Times

Friday, October 11, 2024
9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. ET

Register Online


This program will be offered live, in-person on the UMA campus in Augusta.

Program Benefits                  

  • Increase your public speaking skills (with and without notes or slides)
  • Understand the power of storytelling to increase audience engagement 
  • Maximize your virtual presence
  • Learn how to think quickly, speak logically and influence your audience
  • Recognize key stress drivers and learn how to use them to your advantage
  • Redefine public speaking to positively influence your everyday life
  • Adapt to the ever-evolving need to conduct business online

Topics Covered

  • Prepared presentation methods
    • Defining public speaking
    • Understanding your anxious symptoms
    • Adapting to your audience
    • Making your message stick
    • Being an engaged listener
    • Balancing content with delivery
    • Incorporating personal stories
  • Reducing anxiety and increasing confidence
    • Mental and physical preparation
    • Preparation methods, tools and techniques
  • Impromptu speaking
    • Maximizing your ability to think and speak on the fly

Who Should Enroll

We are surrounded by public speaking opportunities. This program is designed to benefit anyone who wants to improve their public speaking skills, especially:

  • Business leaders
  • Educators
  • Managers
  • Municipal employees
  • Nonprofit workers
  • Religious leaders
  • Researchers
  • Employees working from home
  • Anyone who has ever had a conversation with anyone else

Not sure if this program is right for you? Contact us at and we can help you figure it out.


photo of Tom DowdTom Dowd (DTM)

Presenter Tom Dowd (also known as “Transformation Tom”!) received a communications degree from the University of Delaware. He is a prize-winning speaker, and an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author, trainer and coach. As a member of Toastmasters International, Dowd exhibits consistent success in speech competitions and achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster status in 2015. Dowd utilized his 25+ years of experience in the financial and customer service industry to start Thomas Dowd Professional Development and Coaching, LLC, where he helps people creatively find their own paths to success.

Cost: $225
(snack and lunch are included in registration)

Click here to apply for a need-based scholarship.

Class Capacity

  • 12 participants

Additional Benefits

  • 6 hours / .6 CEUs
  • Certificate of completion available upon request
  • Oral communication badge

Learn more about Continuing Education Units.

*All participants will be given a free copy of Tom Dowd’s “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-Speaking Guide.”


For more information or to request an accommodation contact us at