15 communication skills training courses (2024)

You’ve probably seen “good communication skills” written countless times in job applications. It might seem cliche. Yet, for something that employees universally seek, we often hear little else about it.

Even if you are motivated to improve your communication skills, you might not know how. It may even raise a fair bit of skepticism, prompting questions such as:

  • Can’t I develop communication skills through normal life experiences?
  • Are good communication skills something people are born with?
  • How can I intentionally learn good communication skills?

The reality is that communication is a skill that you can teach, learn and continuously improve on.

Communication skills training has become an important yet underappreciated aspect of modern professional development. Fortunately, many of us are in the same boat. There’s now a huge demand for fast and effective communication skills training.

What is communication skills training?

Communication skills training is any concerted effort to refine and enhance your ability to convey meaning, collaborate and improve outcomes through text or speech.

It typically focuses on developing specific skills. These include active listening, empathetic communication, assertiveness, conflict resolution and negotiation. 

Communication skills training may involve:

  • interactive exercises,
  • giving speeches,
  • telling stories,
  • feedback sessions, and
  • practical strategies to enhance confidence.

The goal is to empower individuals to communicate more clearly, persuasively and confidently in their personal and professional lives.

Why is communication skills training important?

How would your life and work transform if you could communicate more effectively?

Here are some of the benefits of communication skills training:

  • aiding in conflict resolution
  • enhancing interpersonal relationships
  • navigating emotionally charged situations, whether they arise from within yourself or others
  • being able to persuade peers and managers to support and embrace your ideas

People who have taken strides to enhance their interpersonal skills have a unique advantage when it comes to securing hard-won leadership positions.

How to choose the right communication skills training program for you

Tip #1: choose a training resource that aligns with your aspirations

Ask yourself what skills are most important to you.

Do you want to gain more confidence? Do you want to be a more effective listener? Do you want to clearly communicate what you are thinking and feeling? How much time and money do you want to invest?

Understanding the things you need to improve on will help you choose a training program that addresses your specific needs.

Tip #2: consider your learning style

Reflect on your preferred learning style. You might learn best through group and interactive discussions, self-paced modules or one-on-one coaching.

Tip #3: set realistic expectations

Understand that improving communication skills is a gradual process. It requires time, practice and commitment.

Set realistic expectations for what you hope to achieve through the training program. Be prepared to invest time, effort and practice into implementing the skills you learn in your daily life or work environment.

15 popular communication skills training courses

The courses below can all help you improve your communication skills and achieve your goals.

1. Finding Your Professional Voice: Confidence & Impact (University of London)

Finding Your Professional Voice: Confidence & Impact is a free-to-enroll course. It teaches the importance of using an authentic and confident “embodied voice” to improve audience engagement.

While emphasizing clear, impactful language, the course encourages you to look closely at your own predominant vocal behaviors. This will enable you to better determine which communication techniques suit you best.

2. Improving Communication Skills (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Improving Communication Skills features hands-on training and instruction from a panel of business leaders. Students gain a wealth of valuable insights specific to corporate settings.

That said, communication is a universal skill. Even the most business-specific communication skills will likely permeate into your personal life.

3. Persuasive Communication: Narrative, Evidence, and Impact (Harvard University)

A well-balanced approach to communication skills training should include refining your speech and writing. It should also involve improving your group presentation skills.

Harvard’s Persuasive Communication: Narrative, Evidence, and Impact course covers all three in a dynamic open-forum format.

You’ll receive valuable feedback from a diverse panel while reflecting on the role of communication in setting policies. The course also provides an opportunity to expand your professional network.

4. The Leadership Bundle (Pip Decks)

By itself, even the most well-structured training course may not give you the results you’re looking for.

You’ll notice that almost all the courses in this list emphasize taking ownership of your progress by weaving their lessons deeply into your daily life. That’s why we’ve distilled a lifetime’s worth of experience into self-guided professional skills development resources.

The Pip Decks Leadership Bundle features thought-provoking exercises, flow charts and “action recipes” designed to help you navigate your leadership and communication training efforts with confidence.

5. Expanding Your Influence: Understanding the Psychology of Persuasion (AMA)

Persuasion is about much more than stringing the right words together. It also requires a deep appreciation for each individual’s psychological motives, including your own.

The American Management Association (AMA) has trained over 10 million people in the past decade of their impressive 100-year history. Their Expanding Your Influence: Understanding the Psychology of Persuasion course is highly valuable, especially for those hoping to leave a lasting impression and attract a greater following for their ideas.

6. 7 Interpersonal Skills of Great Managers (AMA)

Managers, supervisors and project leaders often find themselves trying to develop specific communications skills after they have made a major difference. Still, it’s never too late to prepare anew and take preemptive action for the next professional challenge.

That’s exactly what the AMA accomplishes with their 7 Interpersonal Skills of Great Managers training course. Much more than communications training, this course empowers new and established managers with a “managerial mindset.”

7. Responding to Conflict: Strategies for Improved Communication (AMA)

AMA also has a wealth of experience to share on handling conflict. Their course, Responding to Conflict: Strategies for Improved Communication, can help you see certain forms of conflict as important opportunities for growth, however risky they seem initially.

8. “Develop Your Communication Skills” collection (FutureLearn)

FutureLearn offers an array of communication skills training for professional educators and career-minded individuals alike. From interpersonal skills to hosting advanced classroom settings (such as STEM or coding classes), there’s a lot to learn.

Check out their “Develop Your Communication Skills” collection.

9. How to Communicate with Tact and Professionalism (Pryor)

Pryor’s accelerated How to Communicate with Tact and Professionalism course emphasizes tactics for keeping teams focused on positive outcomes.

The two-day seminar teaches techniques for preventing miscommunication and improving awareness of common verbal or visual cues that unintentionally mislead audiences. It also emphasizes concision and directness.

10. How to Handle Emotionally Charged Situations in the Workplace (Pryor)

It’s no secret that professional settings can harbor many emotional undercurrents. These may grow out of proportion when colleagues leave them unaddressed.

As a result, it’s important to know how to repair ruptured relationships. Pryor’s How to Handle Emotionally Charged Situations in the Workplace will teach you just that. You’ll also learn how to redirect the fiery energy behind heated exchanges toward greater collaboration.

11. Diploma in Supervision (Alison)

People are not born with a natural ability to lead teams effectively. Like communication, leadership requires diligent practice and a willingness to confront many of your own weaknesses.

When you successfully complete Alison’s free online Diploma in Supervision, you’ll have a verifiable toolkit for building and growing an effective team.

12. Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution (Alison)

Alison’s Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) course teaches a flexible approach to dispute resolution via fair and impartial third parties.

Alison promotes their ADR course as a faster, more affordable and less reputation-damaging alternative to unrestrained arguments, especially if they might carry legal ramifications.

The course is short, only requiring 1.5–3 hours to complete.

13. Secrets of Professional Communication Skills Mastery (Dan O’Connor Training)

Arguably, no freelance communication coach has done more to enhance professional and interpersonal communication than Dan O’Connor. The self-declared “Wizard of Words” is quick with an adaptable skeleton-key phrase and even quicker to remind listeners to remember who they are and the values they live by.

You can quickly upgrade your communication skills by exploring Dan’s treasure trove of free video communication tips. For a deep dive, sign up for his Secrets of Professional Communication Skills Mastery course.

14. Verbal Judo

Would you believe that a former English PhD professor became a police officer and then distilled his learnings into a world-renowned tactical communications training platform? Check out Verbal Judo.

The late Dr. Thompson, aka “Doc Rhino,” helped people from all walks of life redirect even the most heated conflicts with empathy, dignity and respect. His concept of verbal “mushin” encourages you to adhere to your aim relentlessly. You do this by removing egotistical interference and presenting your message in its purest form.

15. Verbal Aikido

While these last two entries borrow heavily from the martial arts, make no mistake: Aikido is a philosophy rooted in peaceful communication.

Like Verbal Judo, Verbal Aikido emphasizes psychological redirection when emotions run high. It also emphasizes the importance of remaining fully aware of how any given conversation affects your presence of mind.

One of the hallmarks of Verbal Aikido is its video-chat training classes. Here, students engage one-on-one while developing their centering, verbal stretching and sparring abilities.

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