Best Man Speech: A Public Speaking Coach’s Ultimate Guide

Ed Darling
10 min read

What you’ll learn:

  • Public speaking clubs in Manchester.
  • How to find your first public speaking gig.
  • Speaker training options in Manchester.
manchester public speaking venue

Public speaking has always been alive in Manchester

If you’re in Manchester and looking to improve your public speaking skills, this guide is for you.

As one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, Manchester has become a hub for tech, finance, media, and more. There’s an ever greater influx of people, business, and with that – opportunity.

Manchester has been the stage for many great speakers, from Charles Dickens to Winston Churchill, Emeline Pankhurst and even Morrissey!

I’ve lived in the heart of the “Northern Powerhouse” for almost six years.

It’s where I first started speaking in public, where we founded Project Charisma, and where despite a new skyscraper popping up every weekend, it still feels like home!

public speaking course in manchester

One of our first Project Charisma public speaking courses, in Manchester around 2018.

But whether your a mancunian native or recently arrived, in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about public speaking in Manchester.

From finding the best public speaking courses, different clubs you can join, and even how to find a professional speaking gig.

But first, a word of encouragement…

The ROI of Public Speaking

When I first arrived in Manchester while studying at MMU, I was suffering with social anxiety and a crippling fear of public speaking.

I’ll save you the full story, but needless to say developing my confidence and communication skills has been the single best thing I ever did.

There’s a reason communication is consistently a top looked for employment skill. It’s not just about learning to communicate, it’s about transforming yourself as a person.

Here’s some of the ROI you can expect from public speaking:

  • Build authentic confidence
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Improve communication skills
  • Enhance career opportunities
  • Influence and persuade others
  • Develop a professional image

With that said, where should you begin?
If you’re new to public speaking, you may want to start by getting a taste for it.

Joining a public speaking club in Manchester.

Manchester has a thriving professional development scene.

When I first ventured into public speaking, my first port of call was Toastmasters, an international public speaking fraternity with clubs around the world. They hold meetings for members, where you can practise speaking with a range of people.

There’s a lot of great things to say about Toastmasters, and a couple of downsides too. But as a starting point on your public speaking journey, it’s definitely something to consider.


I was a Toastmaster member for 4+ years, and even became a Club President.

It’s a great place to get started and meet interesting people, however – it requires a serious time commitment to reap the benefits. If you’re looking to develop more quickly, we’ll cover professional training options in a moment.

Here’s the Toastmasters clubs you can find in Manchester:

public speaking awards at toastmasters

Ed (right) and Dan (centre), both slightly younger and with more hair, at Salford Speakers Toastmasters Club around 2017.

Meetup & Eventbrite

If Toastmasters doesn’t sound like your thing, another place to get a taste for public speaking in Manchester, is through local events and activities.

There’s a whole swathe of events focused on professional development, networking and learning new skills.

Some of these cater specifically to public speaking skills, while others may just provide an opportunity to speak to new people, and grow your confidence.

Either way, many of these activities are free to find, search and attend.

I’d recommend a search for “public speaking in Manchester” on both Eventbrite, and MeetUp. To save you the time typing that out, I’ve linked both of these below:

It might take some searching, but you never know what you might find.

A word of caution though, if something is free to attend, make sure to check that it’s run by a legitimate organiser and will definitely go ahead. The last thing you want is to turn up to an empty venue!

Finding public speaking training in Manchester.

Rather skip the speaking clubs and get right into things?

The most powerful way to develop your communication skills is through professional training. If you want to overcome anxiety, build confidence, and find your charisma on the stage – there’s plenty of options here in Manchester.

A quick google search will give you at least a dozen public speaking companies in Manchester:

But what you’re really looking for is someone who:

  • You can be open and honest with your insecurities.
  • Who understands the unique challenges you may be facing.
  • Who is committed to helping you succeed. 

All of this comes down to having a great working relationship. So before making any decisions, I recommend contacting a number of trainers to have a chat, and find the best fit.

Public Speaking with Project Charisma

For over 5 years, we’ve been helping professionals across Manchester (and beyond) to effectively overcome anxiety, develop inner-confidence, and tap into their authentic charisma as speakers.

We’ve earned a reputation for unrivalled enthusiasm and expertise, which our record of 5-star reviews speaks to.

So, how do we help?

Our training comes in three unique options:

“Speak & Present 1-Day Masterclass” – this is an ideal launching point for any professional who wants to face their fears, build their confidence, and learn the fundamentals of public speaking. These courses run roughly once-per quarter, at our offices in Manchester.

“1-2-1 Public Speaking Coaching” – this is usually suited to more experienced speakers, who want to nail their next pitch or presentation, or level-up their communication skills to advance in their career or business. Sessions are fun, personable, intensive, enjoyable, and ultimately, allow you to rapidly improve.

“Corporate Team Training” – if your team, organisation or business could benefit from confident communication skills, these sessions are engaging, enjoyable and valuable.

We’ve worked with many great northern organisations, including Alliance MBS, Skyparlour, Marlborough Group, and more. Fancy a chat about how we could help you? Get in touch via our contact page and let’s talk.

Next up… how to get a speaking gig here in Manchester.

public speaking training course

From a recent public speaking course we held here in Manchester (at a beautiful co-working office space in the city centre.)

Ready to feel confident while speaking in public?

Join our next 1-Day Public Speaking Masterclass

How to get a public speaking gig in Manchester.

Okay, you’ve tested your public speaking skills, and hopefully had some training.

Now you’re feeling ready to land your first professional speaking gig, here in Manchester.

Well I have some more good news! With the hustle and bustle of the city growing month-on-month, and dozens of business events happening here, opportunities to speak are abundant.

Let’s look at some ways you can land your first speaking gig.

TEDx Manchester

TEDxManchester is an annual (independently organised) TED event that brings together some of the most inspiring and innovative speakers from Manchester and beyond.

The event is a great opportunity to learn from thought leaders, as well as the chance to network with other speakers.

To win a place on the TED stage, you must first submit a talk idea. There’s usually stiff competition for this, but with the right idea, and an outstanding speech, it’s open for anyone to take part.

If you’re not quite ready to take the stage at the Bridgewater Hall, there’s other speaking options to get you started.

Manchester Business Networking Clubs

Manchester has a vibrant business networking community, with various membership groups that are on the lookout for new speakers.

If you have an area of expertise that could be useful to other business professionals, it can be a great way to both network, and build up your brand as a speaker. Certain groups may only invite current members to speak, whereas others prefer to bring in external speakers.

Either way, it’s a great place to begin your journey as a speaker. If you can get some positive testimonials from the audience, or even better – some footage of your speech, it can often open further doors.

Here’s a few well known business networking groups in Manchester. Have a look through their websites, and once you find a good fit, reach out and see if they have any opportunities coming up.

Professional Speakers Directories

Another option for securing your first gig public speaking in Manchester, is to use a professional speakers directory or agency.

To be considered, you’ll need some evidence of your speaking capabilities. This would be in the form of a speaker’s showreel, and testimonials from previous speaking events. If you’re struggling to get professional footage of a speech (it can be one of those catch-22 situations) then we can help here at Project Charisma.

Part of our advanced coaching packages include getting you on camera. After creating and honing your “signature speech”, we’ll help you to get it professionally recorded, and edited into the perfect speaking reel to send out to agencies.

Here’s a list of some of the speaking agencies in Manchester. It can be useful to study their current speakers, and figure out from that, what your niche may be.

Begin your journey public speaking in Manchester.

My own journey into public speaking started right here in the city.

As I mentioned earlier, I was stricken with nerves and painfully self-conscious. But in truth, that’s how most people start out!

The best public speakers aren’t those born with confidence. It’s the people who face their fears, keep learning, and earn their confidence from putting in the reps.

If you’re based anywhere near Manchester, you’re in a great spot to take advantage of all kinds of speaking opportunities. From joining a local Toastmasters club, getting some professional training, or even getting yourself on the stage at Manchester’s TEDx.

I hope this guide on public speaking in Manchester has proven useful for you.

If you’d like help with your public speaking, feel free to reach out and get in touch. You can even connect with me on LinkedIn and strike up a conversation!

To your speaking success,

– Ed Darling, head coach, and co-founder at Project Charisma.

charismatic speaker scorecard

Discover Your Charisma Score!

The Charismatic Speaker Scorecard benchmarks your ability to speak in an engaging way, and identifies opportunities to improve based on three key areas:

  1. Confident Mindset
  2. Compelling Content
  3. Engaging Delivery