One of the most common problems children encounter is the fear and nervousness while speaking in front of a large audience. If a child is well- trained to handle such situations, it is extremely beneficial for him. If a child becomes comfortable with public speaking at an early age, it will benefit him in his growing years and in the future. As kids are not as self -conscious as teenagers, it is much easier to train them for public speaking at this age.
Child’s home is the first training ground:
The training start at the home before it does at school. The parents can play a vital role in making the child comfortable around other people, including strangers. Thus, the foundation of this skill can be laid at home. Parents can start by asking the child about his /her day at school or his experience at the supermarket with his mother. In this process, do not interrupt or correct the child, as it will only lower the confidence of the child.
The extended family:
Once the child is comfortable sharing his experiences before the parents, it is the time to take the next step. The child can be indulged in reciting a story or a poem in front of the neighbours or the grandparents, etc. Ensure the child has a good audience.
The next step:
As the child learns the basics of public speaking, it is then the time to start correcting the mistakes, but in a friendly manner. The body language and pronunciation of a child also require attention.
The parents must be active listeners during this period and be considerate towards the child. They must never press the child too hard to perform. All this will only ensure that the child performs better at school.
In today’s world, it is crucial for the child to be a good speaker. Schools can serve as a further training ground for this purpose. This will help them in developing leadership qualities and becoming successful at work. The most effective way of making children good speakers is to make them practice as much as possible, while ensuring that it is fun and interactive. The teachers must train the children taking little steps each time.
To begin with, let the children discuss in groups rather than straight away taking them up on the stage. Divide them into groups of 2 to 4 give them a fun topic to ensure that all of them actively participate. As the next step, make children speak in front of more people. For example, they can tell their classmates about their favourite cartoon characters. Encourage them to speak as much as possible.
Show them exhibits of speeches made by famous personalities. This will inspire them, and also help improve their diction. With grown up children, one can play audio recordings while in the case of kids, videos can prove to be more effective. Ask the child whether he liked the sample speeches and the reason why.
The next step is to train the children to prepare a speech and put it up in front of an audience. They must also be told about the optimum pace while speaking, making eye contact their intonation and body language. Give them ample time to practice. Make the child acquainted with the most common techniques to improve speaking skills, which include practicing in front of the mirror and breathing exercises.
Improvise the teaching methodology:
Instead of taking written tests, use oral presentations as a tool to evaluate a student’s performance. For young children, one can ask them to describe a picture or tell a story in front of the class. Making charts or PowerPoint presentations and speaking along with them for a few minutes can rove to be a fruitful exercise for grown-up children.
The last hurdle:
The last step is to prepare the children to speak on any topic without previous preparation. This can be done by organizing a group discussion or better, by a debate. The class will be divided into pairs and assign a different topic to each pair. Take care that the topic chosen is familiar to them. The pair will then debate for a specified time period in front of the class.
Be it home or school, the child must never be treated with contempt and must always be encouraged to perform better. Love and acceptance motivates children to become better and work harder to improve their skill. Making the child realize the importance of public speaking will definitely help the child in learning.