How to Help Your Child Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking?

Improve public speaking skills

Do you still remember the daunting nervousness at school, when our teachers used to call us for board work or to answer in front of the entire classroom suddenly? The thought of what impression might happen next would send shivers down our spine. Back then, you had no idea you were terrified of public speaking. Your child is probably sailing the same boat now. You can come to the rescue and help your kid speak confidently and easily by preparing strategic tactics to improve public speaking skills.

Understanding Public Speaking

Glossophobia, or dread of public speaking, is a widespread phobia that is said to impact up to 75% of the population. Some people are mildly uncomfortable about public speaking, while others are terrified.

Many people, especially young kids, feel uneasy and anxious when they are asked to speak in public. Public speaking can feel like climbing a mountain for some kids, especially introverts. The classroom spotlight can be daunting! But there are ways to help them reach the summit and discover their inner voice. Some of the reasons are:

• Anticipation of Rejection

The sense of belonging is a basic human urge. So, the prospect of standing in front of a group and maybe risking rejection or humiliation can be intimidating for children. They are afraid of being criticized or laughed at, which can make public speaking seem like a social trouble spot.

• Lack of Exposure

Kids are still figuring out how to talk. They are learning to improve speaking, express themselves and find their voice. So, throwing them on stage or in front of a packed classroom can feel like shining a bright searchlight on all their insecurities explicitly. Fear frequently arises from the unknown and the fear of the unfamiliar.

• Reminiscing Bitter Experiences

An unpleasant event, such as forgetting lines in a school play or receiving brutal feedback, can have a long-term impact on a child’s confidence. The child may choose to believe that public speaking should be avoided at all costs to avoid future embarrassment or criticism.

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking?

improve public speaking skills

Reading can help to improve public speaking skills in a variety of ways. It can help you increase your vocabulary, pronunciation and fluency.

• Regular Practice

Your child can get over their fear of public speaking with the help of the mirror. Practice is therefore crucial. The mirror serves as a real-time, objective audience that provides commentary. Your child can practise their speech in front of a mirror, which will help them feel more at ease and ultimately help to improve speaking.

• Use Visual Aids

Visual aids such as flashcards, PowerPoint presentations, props, photos, illustrations, and videos can greatly assist children to improve their speaking abilities. These aids help the children to organize their thoughts, engage the audience, and illustrate key points effectively, leading to more engaging and impactful presentations, while also boosting their confidence and ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.

• Teach Breathing Techniques

Proper breathing techniques can improve vocal control and projection. Conscious breathing can also help children regulate their pace and rhythm while speaking. By being mindful of their breath, children can avoid speaking too quickly and maintain a steady, confident pace during their presentation.

• Building Confidence Gradually

Building confidence in public speaking for children can be done gradually through technology, practice and a friendly environment. It equips individuals with powerful tools that foster critical thinking and self-expression. By gradually exposing children to public speaking opportunities and providing support and guidance, their confidence in public speaking can grow over time.

    • Provide Constructive Feedback

    Providing feedback to your children is essential as it helps them develop strong communication skills. When they perform well, acknowledge their accomplishments and motivate them to maintain the good work. This will make them feel proud and encourage them to keep progressing. Moreover, subtly, it is important to highlight areas where they could enhance their communication.

    • Incorporate Storytelling 

    There has been a strong emphasis on the power of storytelling in developing public speaking skills. By weaving stories into their presentations, speakers can make their message more relatable, engaging and memorable. Additionally, storytelling can help speakers convey authenticity and build trust with their audience, enhancing their overall public speaking effectiveness.

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