Tips to Help Your Child Develop Public Speaking Confidence
Having the ability to speak well publicly is an important skill that kids need to develop to achieve at school and later in their careers.
Public speaking is about much more than making speeches. At school students are required to share their views in class, ask questions and present assignments. Nearly all jobs require good communication skills.
Some experts believe digital media has led to a decline in language and speaking skills. Parents can help kids develop public speaking confidence by following these tips.
Encourage Kids to Talk
To be good public speakers, kids need to have plenty of practice expressing themselves and sharing their opinions. You can promote this through open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking ‘How was your day?’, ask your child to tell you about the best thing that happened that day.
It’s vital to give your child your full attention when they are speaking. Take their views seriously, and never belittle them or laugh at them. Encourage kids to speak regularly to family members on the phone or by video call. In shops, get them to pay at the counter so they get used to speaking politely to unfamiliar people.
Practice Public Speaking Regularly
Technology is a great resource for teaching public speaking skills. Help your child to make fun videos where they talk about something they’re interested in or that they’ve learned. They can give a tour of your house or their favourite place, or just share their views on a topic.
Speaking about subjects they’re comfortable with helps kids gain confidence. Seeing themselves speaking on video will also help hone their skills.
Play Fun Improvisation Games
Learning to speak ‘off the cuff’ in public is a difficult skill to develop. There are many situations where kids are required to speak without having much time to think ahead. An excellent way to help your child learn to think quickly is by playing improvisation games.
Watch a few skits from shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Thank God You’re Here (just make sure they’re child-friendly first), so kids get an idea of what improvisation involves. This is a really fun way for kids to develop confidence.
Foster a Love of Language
Children who have an interest in language will enjoy communicating and building on their skills. You can encourage this by introducing new words and playing word games together. Kids love to rhyme and come up with puns, so this is a good way to get your child interested in language.
Reading together regularly will help your child become accustomed to speaking out loud. Ask them to write stories and read them to you or come up with their own stories at bedtime or on long car trips.
Model Good Communication Skills
Children learn how to communicate by seeing how their parents interact with others in different contexts. To help your child become a confident speaker, make sure you speak well and often.
When with family and friends, take your turn in the spotlight by sharing stories and anecdotes so kids can emulate your confidence. If you speak a lot in your job, it’s a great idea to take your child to work for a day so they can see how you communicate in this context.
There are many ways to instil public speaking confidence in kids.