We see so many children developing the fear of public speaking at their learning age. It is tough for them to stand and speak in front of a few people let alone a big crowd of people. Public speaking skills for kids is usually an overlooked and underdeveloped skill, also a skill which can impact how children look at themselves and develop. No matter what field the child chooses their ability to communicate themselves to one person or group will help them to stand out and achieve their goals much faster.
Every parent can help their child with public speaking techniques, as public speaking does not necessarily means speaking on stage, it can be a regular activity too; like normally communicating with the general public, or addressing relatives, peers, playgroups etc. Therefore, we will be sharing a few activities that are based on the experience we gained while working with kids and teaching them public speaking.
1. Make it a game (Enjoyable)
Don’t call it public speaking make it a game for your children, Why?
We give public speaking activities such a great deal of importance that it scares children so much so that it becomes very difficult for them to face the situation.
How to make it fun? Make it a game, not an activity which will be analysed, judged or something at which they can fail. It should be more of children sharing their views with you on topics to have fun, not be scored. This will help to remove the fear from the children’s mind, giving them more headspace to think than to worry.
To give an example, if they get a new dress or an outfit make them try once you are home then ask them what will they do with it, places they will go with the dress on, making it an event in which child is standing and speaking without even realising that they are speaking in front of a small group (family), thus feeling no stress.
We have come across a lot of children who are really great at preparing what they want to speak and how they want to speak in our courses. But they lack the confidence to just speak it out because they have not been in the situation in which they had a group of people to speak in front of.
How will you make them more confident to speak? We already told you that public speaking happens not just in those rare events. So, whenever you are having family dinner encourage your child to share their views or conversation with relatives. When you go to any restaurant make your children place the order and do all the talking, sometimes flip the bedtime ritual make them speak the story.
This will be fostering independence which is really important for confidence.
2. Practice over technique
We all at some point in our life have been taught how to prepare a speech or presentation. Public speaking is a skill which requires a lot of practice. Normalize practicing in the house for kids by practicing your own work or practice with them. Focus them more on practicing to remove the fear of speaking.
We do this regularly in our courses. You can also do this by making them record fun videos of them introducing themselves, their favourite part of the house or something they love to do.
3. Appreciation is the key
Once you practice together and you encourage them to communicate in various situations, you will have feedback for them. Feedback is very crucial – there might be a lot of people who will give your kid negative feedback or maybe just insult them. But you need to give very positive feedback.
Yes, we understand you want to help our kids by giving constructive criticism, but through our experience of working with a lot of kids, we feel positive feedback works the best. If you really want to give them some constructive criticism club it with at least 2 positive feedbacks and always end on positive feedback.
If they are less self-critical about their performance while speaking, they will speak with a lot of natural confidence.
4. Making it worth their effort
No matter what age you child is, whenever you ask them a question, stop to give them time to reply, and patiently listen to them. They should get the sense of being heard and valued about their thoughts and views. This sounds very simple but is very important to teach your child active listening and increasing their self-confidence.
5. Pay attention to their Body Language:
Help your kids with the right posture. Teach them to be expressive with their body language. For example they can use gestures while speaking instead of keeping their hands clutched.
We personally believe that kids learn a lot more when they are in a group of their peers that is why in our courses we incorporate all of these points and make sure that they are having fun while learning how to become a great public speaker.
Don’t forget to Checkout our Public Speaking Courses