Why is Public Speaking Important for Children and How to Train Them?
Deep down in our hearts, we all have this hidden desire to deliver that perfect speech that conquers minds and souls together or be an incredible spinner of yarns who mesmerizes the world with fascinating tales peppered with anecdotes. Such perfection comes only from practice and knowledge.
Any form of oral communication is an art, just like writing. An eloquent speaker strikes a chord with their audience, and they even inspire and influence their listeners.
People may wish to be an eloquent speaker, but in reality, many suffer from glossophobia or speech anxiety. A Forbes article reported the Statistic Brain findings that revealed 74% of people suffer from glossophobia or a fear of public speaking.
This shows public speaking is not just an uncommon but a unique art and this art can be mastered through practice and a wealth of knowledge.
The ability to express yourself in words to an audience is essential to be successful. Imagine a young mind brimming with ideas, but unable to present those ideas to the right audience in the right manner due to the lack of articulation and confidence to speak in public.
That’s why learning the art of public speaking is important for everyone, including children. This helps in overcoming the fear of public speaking and standing out in a crowd.
No matter what profession a child chooses, they will have to communicate with their peer groups, appear at forums, and in case of extraordinary achievers, they will have to take the stage to share their journey, tell the world about their achievements and accomplishments, their ideas and innovations, and their thoughts and theories. Eloquence will help them in having an edge over others.
There are several examples out there where you must have noticed that an achiever becomes an inspiration when they communicate their experience in the most engrossing and engaging manner to the world.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of the art of public speaking.
- Improves communication skills
- Improves leadership skills
- Enhances articulation
- Enhances negotiation and persuasion skills
- Helps to overcome self-consciousness
- Helps to advance career
Following are the types of Public Speaking:
- Regular Conversation
How to instill the Art of Public Speaking in Children?
Effective public speaking or communication skills are essential for growth and success because the art of communication helps in networking, sharing information, influencing and motivating the listeners.
But the fact is public speaking is the most dreaded form of communication, so much so that students often refrain from speaking in the classrooms despite knowing the answers because of social phobia.
Here are a few simple steps on how you can train your child in public speaking and help them overcome their fears.
1. Teach them to face an audience early
The best way to start is to make your children learn to face an audience from a tender age. Initially, they may shy away or forget the right answers or may get distracted due to self-consciousness.
You can instill confidence in them by helping them practice by creating a fictional audience, talking in front of the mirror or using games, etc. It may sound like an uphill task, but it is not at all unachievable.
2. Encourage them to take part in public speaking in school
Nowadays, public speaking is part of the school curriculum. Encourage children to take part wholeheartedly in debates and discussions, be proactive in the classroom, etc. Gradually, the experience will enrich them and help them in becoming a confident and fluent public speaker.
The more they interact and participate, the more they will overcome their fear of public speaking.
3. Importance of Preparation
Confidence to face the public is not enough to be an effective speaker. Speaking without preparation is like cooking without a recipe. Explain the importance of preparation for children and how to prepare for such occasions.
Help them with information gathering techniques. They should know what they are going to talk about, and how they are going to present their ideas, thoughts, etc. From introductory sentences to expressions, every aspect needs to be thought through.
4. Reviewing and Analyzing
Before taking the stage, it is advisable to review your work. You can be your best reviewer and the best way to find the gaps is by recording and listening to your speech.
Recommended for older children, this technique can help them in identifying unnecessary pauses, lack of filler words, repetition, monotone, awkwardness, etc., and improvise where they lack or are missing out.
All the above is achievable only with practice and practice and loads of practice. These skills can’t be built overnight. It’s a continuous process, and each day you will discover nuances to enhance your oratory skills.
In the current scenario, where children are using technology to communicate with each other, it is important to pull them out of the virtual world and expose them to the actual one to develop the art of public speaking. In the long run, they will have to face the public and communicate with a larger audience for various purposes such as interviews, and pitches.
An effective communicator should be knowledgeable and informed, else the spoken words would have less or no meaning for the audience who is listening to them.
Also, the words you speak should be in tandem with your body language, your expressions, and your gestures. Because everything matters when you are standing on the podium and engaging with an audience. Irrespective of the size of the group, perfection is mandatory. Perfection comes from practice. Start practicing now!
Sign up for Moonpreneur today. We offer public speaking and communicable skills classes for your child as part of the Innovator Program curriculum.