Public speaking for kids doesn't have to be traumatic. As a matter of fact, it doesn't have to be for adults either... but we have ways of creating self-imposed limitations on our capabilities.
It's no secret that many people are deathly afraid of public speaking. Some people even name this as their biggest fear.
Kids, on the other hand, are rarely bashful about speaking up!
If you're a parent yourself, you'll know that younger children don't have the same kinds of fears about speaking that we do.
The problem is, however, that we quite often project our fears on to them. If we give any indication of the fact that public speaking is something to worry about, then they WILL worry about it!
As parents, we need to encourage our children to speak up for themselves whenever and wherever possible.
Not only will this hold them in good stead for speech-making, it will improve their general self-confidence too.
Parents spend too much time telling children to be quiet! Some parents even downplay or trivialize the ideas and emotions that their children give voice to.
If you catch yourself telling your child to be quiet more often than you encourage him/her to speak their mind, you need to reverse this habit.
Try asking your child questions that require some thought. Praise them when they give well thought out answers, even if you don't agree with their opinions.
Children will develop the fear of speaking in public when they are constantly told to not speak their minds.
Show your child that you value their opinion and have discussions on topics to strengthen reasoning and speaking skills.
Public speaking for kids requires them to be accustomed to speaking to others. From an early age, teach your children to value the opinions and experiences of other people.
The best public speakers are those who understand their audience. As your children grow, teach them to respect differences and to understand the perspectives of other people.
Offer up life lessons to them about diversity and acceptance. These skills will make your child a "people person" who is not afraid to speak in public.
There will be times when they feel fearful or anxious about speaking. Let them have these feelings, but remind them of other times when they have been successful at public speaking.
You can't take the fear away from them, but you can equip them to overcome fears on their own.
By developing public speaking skills, your child will be more confident and have higher self esteem.
Plus, you'll be breaking the pattern of fear and ushering in a generation that is not afraid to speak in public settings.
This is one of the most valuable gifts that any parent can give to a child.
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