Butterflies in stomach, sweaty palms, shivers down the spine- well, you would certainly know by now what I am talking about! If you are wondering why your otherwise confident, outgoing child goes in a freeze-mode when all eyes are on her, read further to know ways to make public speaking easier for your child.

 

Compelling, confident 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 and how they develop and succeed. A self-assured child who can effectively address their classmates or an audience is likely to be seen in a more positive light by their peers and develop a stronger sense of self. Being able to speak confidently in front of a group of people is a valuable skill.

Frankly, aren’t we wired to be impressed by those who can express themselves better? Those children who can’t express themselves effectively are unfortunately left behind.

Watch this “Dolphin Kid” speak about racism at the young age of 12!

Want your child to excel in public speaking?

Here are 8 ways to make public speaking easier for your child.

 

1. Give Wait time

Most of the time we don’t give enough time to the child to respond and jibe in to finish what we intend to say. Now this works as a double sided sword. It not only breaks the flow of thoughts of the child in framing a sentence/response but also breaks the child’s confidence.

A great rule of thumb is to pause for atleast 5-10 seconds for your child to answer. It gives your child time to process what they want to say.

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2. Don’t over correct your child

Over correcting is the exact opposite way of how to improve communication skills. The more you demand they say something right, the worse it may likely get.

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3 Treat Your Child as a Full Communication Partner

Sounds tricky, right? That’s where you need to strike a balance. You need to talk to them as if they are adults but still remember they are children. ‘Talking with them like an adult’ doesn’t mean use adult vocabulary or information they won’t understand. It means take turns, use eye contact, and value what they say.

Don’t talk to them in baby talk all the time. It’s O.K. every now and again, but after they are about 10 months old, try to limit how much you do it.

It’s common among younger children to talk gibberish, which you don’t understand, but again, take your turn, make the best guess about what they are trying to convey and respond accordingly….even if you’re not sure what they’re talking about.

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4. Practice emotions

An important component of effective communication is the tone. Show your child that the same set of words can carry different meanings depending on her inflection and presentation. Pick up a phrase like – ” stop, don’t move ahead”. Now have your child say this phrase using different emotions -excitement, fear, shock, or anger, for example — and make up a scenario in which each expression of the phrase could be appropriately used.

 

5. Ask Open Ended Questions

Open ended questions are when the answer can be a variety of things and not answered by “yes” or “no”. These questions will teach your child how to think “hard” and reason for themselves.

Here are some examples of how to turn simple questions into open ended ones:

A. Question: Did you go to the store?

Open Ended: Where did you go?

B. Question: Was that book good?

Open Ended: What did you like about that book?

 

6. Play fun games

Remember the all-time favourite game of “antaakhshri”? While that was all about thinking of a song on-the-spot, incorporate games like extempore in your routine. Pick up a toy or object and let your child describe it in 1 minute (show & tell).  On a road journey, ask your child to speak about a particular car that he spots or describe the weather outside. It’s all about gaining confidence of speaking on random topics. While watching television together, talk about minute things like body language, articulation, expressions etc.

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7. Talk talk talk

Make the most of daily activities where your child can build his comfort level naturally. For example, the next time your family goes out to eat, encourage him to order his meal from the waiter himself using a loud voice and clear articulation.

 

8. Praise Your Child for Talking

This is another one that needs to be balanced. You don’t need to tell your child how great they are talking after everything they say. Space it out. Tell them at least a few times a day. More when they’re younger. When they call something by the right name, say “Nice talking” or “You’re right that is a…” or “You are such a good talker”. For older children, you might compliment them when they use a new vocabulary word. You might say, “Hey, look at you using such a big vocabulary.”

Now, if you ask me when’s the right time to assist your child’s communication skills, I would say the right time to learn any life-skill is N-O-W!

You see, the right time to learn swimming is before you fall in the deep sea. Public speaking is an essential life skill every child needs to learn. If you ever get the right opportunity to pick up this invaluable life-skill from the right person, just don’t wait for the right time! And that would be one of the best investments for your child’s future and he/she will be grateful for your timely guidance.

And one such place that inculcates public speaking in children in a fun and natural way is Dolphin POD. Their carefully curated content and methodology, based on neuro-scientific methods, is aimed at making children smarter, healthier, happier and better equipped to operate in the constantly evolving, ambitious and cohesive society. The pedagogy they follow of Play, Communication and Downtime involve activities and classes that help children develop as confident and smart public speakers.

To know more about Dolphin POD and their philosophy, click here.

Being comfortable talking to others- whether one-on-one or in front of a group- will allow kids to better convey information, appear more confident, and make stronger social connections. And this acquired poise and increased command of public speaking will not only help them in school, but also empower them in any situation they encounter in life.

Go Mommy!

20 comments on “8 Ways to Make Public Speaking Easier for Your Child”

  1. Some great pointers to encourage public speaking. I remember as a child getting a lot of encouragement to speak in public. it helped boost my confidence a lot. Also helps with language skills. Great post.

  2. Just read your post when my kids have story telling competition in their class. They are too shy to speak publicly, will surely use your tips to feel good about public speaking. Thanks.

  3. This is such a well-written and important post. As parents we want our child to excel in everything but sometimes we push it too far that we don’t realise that our kids understand and do things at their pace and we need to be encouraging of their skills and let them develop it by using the right methods. Will definitely check out Dolphin POD. Looks promising.

  4. Excellent pointers all of them.Especially avoiding overcorrecting them and encouraging extempore speech can go a long way in helping them develop self-confidence.

  5. Great Roopika ! An important ,dear to all parents issue to pick up. Of course the wish of all parents to see their child have excellent verbal communication skills is clearly seen in its nascent stage when they insist on their kids reciting something in front of guests.Good pointers.

  6. Excellent and detailed post which will help parents to work on with the flow. True emotions need to be worked on to become successful

  7. You have mentioned some essential and effective techniques that every parent should practice. Parent’s support goes a long way in making a child a confident communicator.

    • Oh, that’s wonderful..having an empathetic & understanding guide/parent is so important, especially in growing years. Thank you for finding my post worth while!

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