Why Public Speaking?
If you have ever given a speech, you will probably remember this feeling. I remember as a 20-year-old – standing in front of a bunch of curious strangers with AC on, and still sweating my life out. My brain overworked at that moment and in the first few minutes, I felt I would almost faint.
As I made an eye contact with the audience in front, each person peered at my soul, as if assessing my worth. Learning Public Speaking is a nail-biting adventure, but it is one of the most important skills to develop. And the best time to start is……………as early as we can!
Here are some handy ways to get started with this skill for your child-
Fun and not Fear
Make public speaking fun, by playing some games – avoid scoring them from the very first instance. And to start with it, avoid this intimidating word, “public speaking”; give it a name that allows the child to relax and get easy with the whole process of learning.
Sample this : In our house, the boys get to toss a coin before an impromptu talk – to see who talks first (gives them a playful feel), and for the early rounds topics are as simple as, how was their day, vacation plans, birthday party thoughts or just about anything that can work out a speech of 1-5 minutes.
Focus for both
As a teacher, remember that you don’t overemphasize the style of speaking in the initial days, let them know and understand that content/quality of speech is equally important. They can enjoy researching the topic and creating some meaningful information. Do a check if their speech has elements like a central idea, structure and conclusion, and twists that can make the speech meatier?
Remember, public speaking is very much like learning to drive a car. And if you have ever driven one, you would recollect the initial days, practice often happened in spaces where there were hardly any ace drivers to scare or compete. We all start slow and we build up the technique as we go.
Feedback For Sure
Let them talk, don’t correct them too often, during the speech. You can always wait until your child is through, and then share inputs that are clear and directive and not cliché like “It was great”, “You spoke well”.
You may want to elaborate on what went well for them and what could have been better.
Record the sessions and simply play them back to help them understand the areas of improvement. Get together as a team to work on the areas that can be more impressive.
It is sometimes easier to see where you need to make the improvements when you can view the speech the same way the audience does.
Captivating, assertive public speaking is a crucial skill that is often overlooked and under-developed in a child’s formative years, yet it can strongly impact how your child views themselves. So don’t hesitate to invest time and energy to help them develop this skill.
About the author
Shweta is the Strategic Designer & Editor for News Shuttle. Writing has been a passion with her and she hopes that this endeavour will help kids learn and have fun at the same time.
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