Boost Your Child’s Confidence through Public Speaking
Reading level: B1 Preliminary and above
Do you let out a sigh of relief when you don’t have to speak in class or a meeting? Or when you’re talking does it feel like nobody is listening?
Whether you’re a student or a professional who has years of experience, most people get nervous speaking in public. While there’s no single formula, with small steps we can help motivate you to improve your public speaking and communication skills, from the impact of body language, to telling stories and getting heard.
Here’s our top tips:
How does public speaking help?
Overcome a fear; participating in any new or complex activities helps build confidence inside. With strong encouragement, you will have the ability and confidence to stand before an audience and give a speech flawlessly over time.
Courage to voice opinions and influence others
As you grow in confidence, you will have the courage to voice opinions or views and not just follow the crowd. One of the most important things leaders know how to do is to persuade others. By having the ability to convey their opinion confidently, the sky is the limit.
Important areas of growth, for a successful transition to adulthood, are critical thinking and self-confidence. Skills that can be polished for a better future regardless of your child’s chosen education or career path.
One of the many skillsets desired by employers is the ability to communicate ideas clearly and well. Jobs today require candidates to work well with others, have a listening ear, the ability to understand perspectives as well as expressing yourself with confidence.
Ways you can encourage your child to speak in public
What shall we talk about?
The best way to encourage children to speak is to allow them to choose the topic; like why they should have ice-cream all day or why teachers shouldn’t give homework, you’ll probably get hundreds of reasons why.
Here are some topics you can consider.
Favourite TV show or movie
Favourite character from a book, cartoon, game or movie
‘This calls for a debate’
More suitable for older children, this is a game where they have to debate on a topic. Designed to help them to *think on their feet, encouraging flexibility and learning how to argue from both sides.
List down a few controversial topics and then ask your child to speak on the positives and negatives for 30 seconds each.
Some topics you could discuss about:
Nasi lemak is the ideal breakfast
Homework should be banned
Artificial intelligence will help humanity
Social media has improved human communication
Interview an ‘expert’
A role-playing game that works for both younger and older children. With your child being the interviewer and parents, grandparents or older siblings playing the ‘expert’.
Write down lots of ‘expert’ topics on individual pieces of paper or card – make these as serious or fun as you wish. Place them all into a bag or box, and then pick out a topic.
Take it like a TV interview where you begin with “Today, we are delighted to have the world’s only expert in …” asking questions and getting as much information as possible.
Younger kids will enjoy interviewing ‘experts’ on all sorts of fun things, like the ‘ice cream tasting expert’ or the ‘McDonald’s specialist’.
Older kids on the other hand may be more interested to interview their family members on topics that they are actually experts in, like if mum was a pilot, what is it like to fly an aeroplane?
Give lots of positive feedback
Public speaking can be learned naturally through repetition but just like you and I, a bit of encouragement and positive feedback *goes a long way.
It’s also good to give constructive criticism but try sandwiching them between two positive comments like,
“You did great! You were so good when you got up and did this. You might need to tweak this a little bit and look at the crowd a bit more, but your conclusion was awesome, the way that you said…. That was amazing!”.
If you would like a lesson on public speaking, ask your ILTI teacher. Go out, inspire and change the world!
*Think on your feet – to make a quick decision or give an answer quickly
*Goes a long way – used to say that only a small amount of something is needed or has a great effect