Children all over the world are taught to speak in public when they are still quite young. This is partly because if kids can be taught skills relating to public speaking while they are still young, they will inevitably do it that much better when they get older. But it is also because public speaking instills confidence and leadership skills in people of all ages.
In schools and colleges all over the world today, children are given the opportunity to learn how to speak confidently in public. Those who embrace the challenge and succeed at it, usually achieve a whole lot more later in life than those who do not. But kids public speaking is really no different from adult public speaking. While adults may respond differently, every person, regardless of age, sex and beliefs, will benefit from exactly the same basic guidelines.
Whatever your age, if you are going to make a speech to a large (or even a small) group of people, you need to know what you are aiming for. Then you need to prepare the speech – and then practice it until you are perfectly at ease with your planned presentation. A good public speaker will enjoy delivering the presentation and emerge emotionally and spiritually fulfilled.
Most children will benefit from a teacher who is able to break down this process into simple language, and simple understanding. Here are some hints that you can use if you are going to be teaching kids about public speaking.
Tell them they should:
- Decide what purpose their speech must fulfill. Are they teaching their audience something, or are they Public Speaking for Kids there to entertain the audience? Is there something they need to convince the people who are listening to them, or something they need to persuade them to do? Or do they just want to make them laugh and be happy?
- Choose a topic they are comfortable with. Or if they are given a topic, encourage them to adapt the subject matter so that it relates to something they know about. A person who is passionate about a subject will often excel when asked to talk about this subject. The same applies to people who know a lot about the subject matter.
- Research the topic even if they think they know about it already. Teach them about the concept of having reserve knowledge, so that if they forget the line of speech, or get asked questions, they do not find they are out of their depth. Research also often adds new lines of thought and a new direction to a speech. This is especially important for people who keep being asked to talk about the same thing over and over again.
- Work out a good outline for the Public Speaking for Kids speech and make sure they know how to start the speech and how to end it. If they are confident about the content, this will usually fall into place. But a good outline will help them to make the speech flow more naturally.
- Realize the importance of practicing speeches, even if the words they practice change when they eventually stand up in front of the live audience. Practice makes perfect. At the same time, make sure they do not expect that every speech they give will be perfect. It is also important that people accept they can only do their best.
- Acknowledge that they are probably going to feel nervous, but realize that they can overcome this fear. By teaching kids to learn how to relax, they will be able to address an audience with confidence. They need to realize that experience is the key here.
- Accept that public speaking is a skill that they can learn. Very few people have an innate ability to stand up in front of a crowd and deliver words that make sense, inspire or make a difference. Kids can benefit from learning that developing this kind of skill will help them develop and achieve whatever it is they want from life.