Practical ways – 9. Mentoring Public Speaking skills

man standing in front of people sitting on red chairs

Public speaking cannot be achieved or trained within a day .Its a process a person goes through and mastered with experience , practice and guidance. The benefits of public speaking are known to all how it builds confidence , gives success in many fields , better writing research and deductive skills.

These are equally important from a child perspective more than special training they need to use every opportunity that comes their way to master and sharpen this skills. As parents and mentors whenever they get a chance to stand and speak in front of their peers should be used as a chance to remove the fear of public speaking and polish these skills with every such attempt.

For public speaking you need a situation , environment, a topic all that is available to children only at schools from young age .Be it their chance to participate in project events, fancy dress, recitation , speaking on topics, debates help them take part and overcome this fear.

This process enables them to gain confidence to speak , how to organize, plan and speak on variety of topics.

Many parents or kids back out from these activities due to low confidence or not being good communicators or lack of proper planning or outlining. They don’t have to be excellent communicators for public speaking the key lies in preparing the right speech and outlining the flow of the speech so as to connect to the child .The child finds it naturally speaking rather than a memorized piece of content.

Some basic points to consider while preparing the speech for a child:

  • Use words and sentences that connect easily to child , frame small sentences and use words from vocabulary the child is familiar with.
  • Always explain to them the speech before they are to memorize and deliver.
  • For young kids never make it too much facts they will have tough time remembering those facts in the process even forget or have broken speech .
  • Practice , record , evaluate and give your feedback in a positive way for changes.
  • Kids magazines have varied topics and are excellent source , they cover them at a level and with pictures to easily connect also the sentences are phrases are best suited for kids.
  • Always have a structured outline for speech and a set flow of topic.
  • At advanced levels help them work on non verbal parts like their body language , facial expression, eye contact or paralanguage of delivery.Audience engagement, feedback and question answers.

Some basic ideas to follow for kids speech:

  • It should be more like a speech rather than memorized content the child trying to retrieve .Then always have a structured outline prepared and explain the flow to the child . example: para wise:1.intoduction or starting lines, 2.types or categories, 3.different parts or working 4.uses or examples.
  • Give them the main words and flow of the topic handy rather than entire speech .This helps hem to focus on those words and speak as a flow.
  • In case the child forgets a link in between at least he knows the other parts to continue with to end. That keeps the confidence of not getting stuck and finishing .Also the audience wont know if you have skipped or forgotten.
  • When you are using quotes , jargons, terms that’s outside their level help them understand it with meaning .Help them spell out and practice quoted texts.
  • Focus on the approach or angle you want to cover the topic from. Example :If its about temples. Do you want to cover structures , architectural styles, historical or geographical angles be specific and stick to that. Don’t do too much or everything .If topic is about perspectives like use , misuse ; advantage and disadvantage.
  • If there are props like charts or models help kids use them as cues to make easily connectable speech. Example: model of a computer with well defined and labelled parts and connection or mobile device model with icons of apps displayed on screens or a chart highlighting those important point or terms about topic .This reduces the burden of memorizing to a large extent.
  • If its about a famous personality you can structure it carefully keeping your child speech level and communication. Example:1.introduction with less facts more of their vision. , 2.key milestones or point in history , 3.contibutions, 4.famous quotes, 5.their skills or subject interest , 6.Life history or background in short. Make a speech that your child can confidently speak so choose the details accordingly.

We have to use every opportunity and ways to learning that comes through schools in these years of education because these are the right time to start , evaluate and make necessary changes to sharpen those skills. Use every such opportunity to practice , record , evaluate with you feedback and make changes for the next time. Only academic skills shouldn’t be just given importance its between these activities they develop those skills that are useful for successful life later.

These sure to go techniques will help you prepare your child for every such opportunity at their academic level, boost their confidence and make a mark among their peers. Also don’t pressurize them to achieve a position in these activities the main reason is to give them an experience and remove the fear so prepare them “what they can give best not for what will win the best”.