Public speaking skills are critical for kids now as they help build essential communication skills for when they are older. Here are 7 tips for kids to develop public speaking skills.
Public speaking is a critical skill to help prepare children and young adults for careers of tomorrow. Excellent communication skills go a long way in boosting self-confidence and ensuring career success and upward mobility.
But how does one develop public speaking skills from an early age? Unlike academic subjects, Public speaking skills have to be developed and nurtured over time. After training thousands of learners over the past four years, we have compiled some of the strategies that have worked for our learners.
Here are 7 tips for kids to develop public speaking skills:
1. Begin with writing
The most important aspect of public speaking is to understand that words and language are just means to convey your thoughts. It is more important to organize one’s thoughts and formulate strong arguments.
If one’s thoughts are organized, it automatically boosts confidence and fluency.
2. Do not worry about grammatical errors
Good grammar is a key aspect of communication. However, obsession with grammar while speaking impacts our ability to communicate fluently and construct a cohesive speech.
Therefore, it is best if one does not try to achieve both these goals simultaneously. While speaking, the focus should be on content and delivery and not on Grammar.
3. Attempt a wide variety of activities
When it comes to public speaking, all people can think of is a debate. However, a proficient Public Speaker needs to communicate in a wide variety of settings in front of diverse audiences.
The best way to achieve this is to practise different kinds of public speaking activities such as elocution, turncoat, extempore, advertisement commercial, poetry slam, stand-up comedy, etc.
4. Create your own YouTube channel
The best way to get feedback is to record a video of yours. Creating a YouTube channel helps in viewing one’s performances and looking at gap areas.
A YouTube channel also helps in sharing videos with people for more feedback. Additionally, uploading one’s video online helps in boosting confidence and in overcoming hesitation. There is, of course, the additional benefit of social recognition.
5. Learn the art of storytelling
Storytelling is a key 21st century skill that is used in all walks of life: be it convincing parents to buy a product or cracking a job interview or convincing your friends to join you on a trip.
Structured learning of the various steps of the art of storytelling greatly helps in all public speaking activities.
6. Break the fear barrier
Everybody has a fear barrier that inhibits them from speaking confidently in a public environment. This ‘fear barrier’ needs to be broken before one can freely attempt speaking activities. What is your ‘fear barrier’?
Are you scared of putting your point across in a public environment? Try to speak in a class full of students.
Are you scared of being judged on your accent or Grammar by people? Practise in front people who would not be judgemental.
Are you scared of taking your first shot at public speaking? Ask your friend to encourage you to participate in a low stake event.
7. Join or create a public speaking group
Social groups play a huge role in providing feedback and support. Joining a group such as Toastmasters could go a long way in ensuring that one has the right support structure and encouragement to get over one’s fear of public speaking.
If you cannot find an existing group, create your own group with 3-4 people. It could be a simple Whatsapp group.
Mastering the art of public speaking is similar to getting fit. A structured approach, backed with discipline, regularity and a variety of interventions over a period of time can yield great results.