As you may know, the organization, Toastmasters, helps adults improve their speaking skills in public. This organization has many chapters and speaking levels and one of their primary goals is to help people improve their communication and in particular, their verbal and listening skills.
Effectively speaking in public or being effective at facilitating meetings is something all professionally oriented people need to know, regardless of their age or experience level. Some say it’s especially necessary among business people, but all industry professionals need to learn how to speak well in public.
To that end, I suggest universities provide regular public speaking classes for all students. It doesn’t have to occur throughout the entire semester, perhaps a week or two for each semester throughout their college. Perhaps each course would be considered a .5 or 1 credit hour per semester for at least 8 semesters. It’s certainly not meant to take significant time away from their studies but something that will give university students valuable experience to help prepare them for future jobs and opportunities.
To improve one’s public speaking, the Toastmasters organization comes to mind — perhaps because many professionals feel they need to improve their public speaking to help gain them a competitive advantage in the work environment. Perhaps many of whom felt this wasn’t a skill that they learned or became proficient with in high school or college.
In terms of training for public speaking, universities would not necessarily follow the model of Toastmasters. They could certainly develop their own unique curriculum. Having said that, the key is to help them develop their speaking and presentation skills to help them prepare for whatever challenges lie ahead.