Understanding the Difference Between Communication and Public Speaking

public speaking

People often use “communication” and “public speaking” equally, but they mean different things. Even though both require sharing information and ideas, they are different in scope, goal, and skills. This blog will explore how communication and public speaking differ in small ways. If you’re considering taking a Public Speaking Course or just want to learn more about What is Public Speaking, knowing these differences can help you learn more about these important parts of human interaction.

Table of contents

  • What is Public Speaking?
  • Key Differences Between Communication and Public Speaking
    • Audience Size and Setting
    • Purpose
    • Skillset
    • Context
  • The Interplay Between Communication and Public Speaking
  • The Value of Public Speaking Training
  • Conclusion

What is Public Speaking?

Let’s talk about public speaking before we get into the differences. Public speaking is the skill of giving talks or presentations in front of a group. It means talking to a group of people, whether big or small and telling them something or giving them information. Public speaking is often linked with formal settings like conferences, lectures, or business presentations, but it can also happen in less formal settings like meetings, workshops, or even social gatherings.

Live Different - Public Speaking

Communication: A Broad Spectrum

On the other hand, communication is a broad and all-encompassing term. It includes a wide range of things people do and ways they share knowledge, thoughts, and feelings. Communication isn’t just talking to each other; it also includes written messages, body language, and even technology like emails and text messages. It is an important part of everyday life and happens in personal relationships, work, and social settings.

Key Differences Between Communication and Public Speaking

Let’s look at some key changes between communication and public speaking to help you understand the difference:

Audience Size and Setting

Communication can happen between two people, in a small group, or at a big gathering. It works in various situations, from private talks to public venues. When you speak in public, you must talk to a big group. It is when a speaker tells a group of people something, whether in a formal auditorium, a school, or the Internet.


Communication can be used to share knowledge, show how you feel, build relationships, and solve problems, among other things. It can be used in many ways to connect with other people. Public speaking usually has a clear goal, like telling, convincing, entertaining, or inspiring the crowd. It has clear goals and is set up to help reach those goals.


For effective conversation, you need skills like active listening, empathy, the ability to change, and clarity. It focuses on getting along and talking to each other.  Public speaking requires a special set of skills, such as how to organise a speech, give it, act on stage, and keep an audience interested. It shows how good the speaker gets and keeps the audience’s attention.


Communication happens in both official and informal settings. It is an important part of everyday life and happens easily in most interactions between people.  Public speaking is a planned and conscious thing to do. Especially in formal settings, it often requires planning, practice, and sticking to a set style.

successful business meetings

The Interplay Between Communication and Public Speaking

Communication and public speaking are different, but they don’t cancel each other out. Being able to speak well in public is a part of communicating well. Public speaking skills make it easier to interact in larger or more formal settings in a convincing and interesting way. Strong communication skills, like active attention and empathy, are also important for good public speaking because they help speakers connect with their audience and meet their needs.

The Value of Public Speaking Training

People who want to improve their public speaking skills can benefit greatly from a Public Speaking Course. These classes give structured advice on how to write a speech, give it, and keep the audience interested. They give people chances to practise, get feedback, and improve their skills, which gives them the power to do well in public speaking situations.

Bethany Mota gives an inspiring speech


Communication and public speaking are two different but related parts of how people deal with each other. Communication includes a wide range of interactions between people in different settings, but public speaking is about talking to a big group of people with specific goals in mind. Both are important skills and being good at public speaking can help you connect more effectively and persuade people, whether you’re giving a formal presentation or just talking to your friends. Understanding these differences and how they work together can help people communicate confidently and skillfully.

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