Confidence in public speaking is an important tool for your elementary school child to have. In fact, the benefits of public speaking can even contribute to your child’s success in the future, says experts over at Public Speaking Power. According to the website, knowing how to deliver an impactful speech could go a long way in career development and business growth. Some of the benefits include:
An increase in self confidence
Children find their self-assurance and poise dramatically increased as they begin to grow their communicative skill. Learning how to talk in public will help your child to connect better with others and it will teach them how to gauge people’s reactions and adjust accordingly. Learning how to deliver a speech will go a long way towards boosting your child’s ability to hold a conversation.
Grow in leadership
Good leaders have mastered the art of communicating with their people. Great leaders know how to inspire and motivate the people they are leading, and learning to master the art of public speaking can definitely help with that. The best public speakers of our time has gone on to become presidents, heads of corporations and people of great influence.
Be heard in a crowd
Learning how to address a crowd could set you apart from the masses. Help your child to stand out, by honing those speaking skills! A confident speaker will usually be the first one to grab an opportunity, when others are to shy to stand up and speak. Remind them that a fearless, thoughtful and confident public speaker has the ability to influence people’s mindsets and decisions.
Ways to teach public speaking to children
The fear and overwhelm of speaking in public can be overcome by teaching your child a few very simple tricks. These tips will help them to communicate effectively, address a large group of people with confidence and will even come in handy when they need to present school projects in class.
Make it fun
Experts at Public Speaking Power share that by creating a fun buzz around public speaking can automatically set your child at ease. Instead of putting a lot of emphasis on the need to do the task well, rather focus on making it a game and something that they need not be frightened of failing at. They even suggest getting rid of the term “public speaking” altogether, and rather naming the activity something that sounds a bit less intimidating. The more at ease your child is, the better the results.
Break into groups
Younger children fare better in smaller groups, where the attention is limited, rather than getting up in front of an entire class. By breaking into groups, you could have them present to only one person at a time. Gradually increase the size of their audience, to create an atmosphere that is less threatening and scary.
Make use of props
As practice, allow your younger child to make use of props to help support their presentation and set them at ease. An impromptu speech is helped along when the child has a familiar object to refer to (in a “show and tell” manner) if they run out of things to say. You could use this time to teach your child that speeches should have a beginning, a middle and an end. This basic concept is very important, according to Amy Lightfoot of Teaching English. By familiarizing them with the proper structure of a speech, you naturally help to boost their confidence and focus, and eventually they will be bold enough to experiment with different styles.
When practicing for a speech, always give your child your full attention – even if you’ve heard it before! Make eye contact and encourage them by showing positive body language (nodding, smiling etc). Try to avoid doing other things at the same time. This will encourage your child to maintain eye contact with you during the rendering of the speech.
Practice makes perfect
Penshurst West principal, Merrilyn Jenkins, suggests that you equip your child to talk in public simply by creating a lot of opportunities for them to practice doing so. Studying technique is important and there are many wonderful articles and pieces of information that can help an astute learner further develop their talking skills. But for your young child to succeed, encourage them to watch some of the greatest speeches ever recorded and then, create an opportunity for them to deliver some of their own!
Choosing the right topics
When your child is old enough, encourage them to choose their own topics to speak about during practice sessions. Topics that are of personal interest, narrating a memory of a special event or even sharing about their favourite toy or activity, can be a great way to get the ball rolling. Use this opportunity to work on developing captivating beginnings and endings and to work on the pitch and pace of their delivery.
Research and structure
Once your child is ready to pen his own speech, work out a template that will make it easier for him to work out exactly what he wants to say. The template can include things like the topic and the duration of the speech, the purpose of the speech and the type of audience he will be addressing. When determining the purpose of the speech, take into consideration the final desired outcome. Encourage your child to do proper research into the topic, by making use of newspapers, magazines and the internet.
Give good feedback
Regardless of how well they are doing, always encourage your children to keep going! Criticism can be offered in the form of positive feedback, rather than reproach or scolding. Since public speaking is something that can be learned over time, keep encouraging your child with words of affirmation, to create a positive experience that will hopefully inspire them to do better.
Confidence, discernment and public speaking ability are key elements when working towards a successful career. Mastering these important life skills will not only boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence, but it will give them relationship building skills that they are able to use in every sphere of their lives.