Public Speaking Tips for Kids

Parents can help a child achieve success by having her follow a few basic public speaking tips. Once your child begins school, she will undoubtedly have to give some type of presentation in front of her classmates. The presentation might be as simple as reciting a poem or as complex as a speech with visual aids. 

In the Beginning
One of the first things you can do to put your child at ease is to acclimate her to speaking in front of people. Help her practice by having her explain a part of her day to you. Ask her to stand while she talks; you should remain seated. This stand up theory establishes a speaker-audience mindset, even in young children.

Eventually, you may want to add people to the audience: grandparents, siblings, neighbors. This method eases any possible fear associated with public speaking. It also builds self confidence. Both are important elements of public speaking.

Preparation Tips
The following tips outline the non-verbal portion of public speaking by focusing on the preparation of the presentation. Education experts report that if you need to read or work with a piece of material three times before it is committed to memory.

Implementing these tips will help your child retain the material.

  • If possible, your child should select a topic she can research. Read and re-read the material, making sure she fully understands what she has read.
  • Encourage your child to choose her own words for the presentation. It shows understanding of the material.
  • Select a main topic and divide material into subtopics. Pencil in key points for subtopics. Then, organize material into an order that makes sense, depending on the topic.
  • Practice. Your child should practice her presentation several times before the actual event. Reading in front of a mirror will help your child see how she looks while presenting and will reduce possible fears.

The Real Deal

When it is time for the presentation, these ideas offer ideas to calm any jitters.

  • Relax and smile. Take a deep breath. Assure yourself you are talking to a group of friends. Your confidence will show.
  • Try to make eye contact. If your child feels uncomfortable looking an audience member in the eye, show them how to pick a spot directly above someone's head. This appears like you are looking at the audience.
  • Take your time. Don't rush through your presentation. In some instances, your child's teacher may at the end of the presentation. Think through the question before you answer. By now, you know the material

Remind your child that preparation is the key to successful public speaking. The groundwork and practice will set the stage for success.

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