17 Ways to Help Your Child Develop Public Speaking Skills (Public Speaking Tips for Kids)

17 Ways to Help Your Child Develop Public Speaking Skills (Public Speaking Tips for Kids)

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Speaking in public can be nerve-wracking for a lot of people, and is one area many people shy away from a lot. But if this important skill can be learned at a very early age, kids stand to gain a lot of benefits from it that can serve them well into adulthood. Therefore, today we will be sharing 17 public speaking tips for kids, or better yet for parents/guardians to help their kids.

Teaching your child how to talk or present in front of a crowd will help them harness better communication skills and build their confidence in a number of ways. At a young age, they already learned to build charisma and great stage presence, which ultimately is a solid training ground for a great career path in the future. 

Related Article: 15 Tips to Help You Raise the Next Generation Leaders

For this reason, we will be discussing below some public speaking tips for kids that you can use, in order to polish their public presentation skills.

17 Public Speaking Tips for Kids – Help Your Child Build a Strong Presentation Skills Foundation

These public speaking tips for kids are going to be useful for students as well. So, you could say that these are public speaking tips for parents to help their children develop better presentation and communication skills.

1. Teach Your Kids To Research

public speaking tips for kids

First and foremost, you need to teach kids to develop a habit of researching on whatever it is they hope to present. This does not only help them to be better equip them for the presentation, but also, instills in them a spirit of responsibility and independence.

When kids learn to research stuff themselves, they are in full control of the situation and that will be the first step of the journey to acing their public presentation. As a parent or guardian, your job should only serve to guide, while the kids should be the ones in the driver seat, calling all the shots.

2. Help Them Organize Their Presentation

In order to effectively understand and master your presentation, you need to first organize it in a proper order. It is imperative that you teach your kids how to organize all the details of their presentation into major key points, so as to properly manage the bulk.

Learning to manage or organize points of the presentation will give your kids a more hands-on experience while making their speech delivery. As soon as all the main points of the presentation have been sorted out, make it a point of duty for your kid to memorize every bit of information for the number of days he or she has to rehearse.

Related Article: How to Outline a Speech – 4 Key Strategies

3. Use Palm Cards

Palm cards are like pictorial representations of key points, with each point displayed boldly on each card.  The use of palm cards is a great way for kids to memorize and retain information faster. By keeping a minimal Number of palm cards, it becomes a lot easier for kids to master the key points in memorable order, so it becomes more ingrained and easily recitable.

public speaking tips for kids

4. Make Your Kids Practice Before A Group

It is a no-brainer that the key to memorizing information of any kind is by steady practice. When you train your kid to rehearse before a small group of people, for instance, family members and friends, the more the kid gets better at it and builds more stage presence.

It will help a lot if the kid puts on the dress he will be using on the actual day of presentation, just to make everything feel a lot more natural. Little dramatic nuances as this will be an avenue to straighten out any anomalies or rough edges in the kids presenting style, to bring it to absolute perfection. Having familiar faces around will offer great emotional support and guidance.

5. Take Your Kid To The Venue Of Their Presentation

Letting your kid have a feel of the venue of their speech presentation is very key to their success. It is advisable that before the day of their intended speech, you should make them take a tour and rehearse at the place of the event. This is usually a school hall or a classroom. For them, being thrust immediately on the stage on the D-day can be very overwhelming and unreal for them, especially if they have never done so before.

Hence, making them rehearse at the venue of the speech will help prepare them psychologically for what is to come. They can then have a hands-on feel of the entire place as they can play around the stage and bask in the euphoria of the upcoming event. It will also help to set up a mock audience, comprising of close friends and family members in the same venue to make the experience a lot more at home. 

6. Teach Them The Art Of Speaking Clearly And Boldly

Kids often get nervous and develop stage fright when making presentation. As such, they tend to either stutter or present too fast, so they can get through all they have to say as quick as they can. Their voices also wobble between inordinate pitches of either too high or too low rhythms. This can obstruct the flow of the presentation and makes it difficult for the listener to properly follow up with the discussions.

One way to combat this, is to teach your kid to always take long deep breaths before and when making his or her speech. Water should be made available on the day of the presentation just in case the kid might be feeling dehydrated and needs to replenish. 

public speaking tips for kids

7. Be A Source Of Inspiration

The first role model a kid ever has in life is a parent. This distinct position you have been made to occupy leaves you with a lot of responsibilities as a parent. In the digital era, where it is common place for people to make podcasts and videos for social media and streaming services, young kids are especially thrilled to see their parent doing such, and will most likely to reenact what they see you do. Soon enough they start to imitate a parent or adult by recording themselves in the act of making a presentation. 

Most kids born in the digital age are a tech-savvy, and that allows making a video with a phone or computer becomes very easy for them. Kids like to look at themselves perform, and this is the time for you to offer some advice and constructive criticism towards their performance.

Watching videos of themselves performing lets them see how well will they appear before an audience, which in turn will build on their overall performance and confidence a great deal.

8. Show Them Videos Of Other Kids’ Presentations

As an added bonus, show them videos of other kids performing online. Show them a good example as well as bad ones, so they can have a balanced appreciation of both ends of the stick. In fact, showing your kid more bad presentations from other kids is a great learning ground that will help them know where they could make amends or done it better. Watching excellent presentations is ultimately a great way to pick up new tips and skills to add to theirs.

9. Select The Right Outfit

Before stepping out of the house on the day of the presentation, make sure your child is properly dressed to fit the scope and nature of the event. Help him or her select a very professional and comfortable outfit to give the kid a sophisticated look. Looks they say, will not only influence the way people will view your kid, but also boost their confidence in the long run.

10. Having A Good Meal

On the day of the presentation, make sure your kid is properly fed with the right healthy meal. Something quite light, but should be rich balanced diet. Hunger can result in lack of coordination and dizziness, which can heighten anxiety levels in your kids. A great meal will keep the belly full, while providing your kid with the energy he or she will need to go through and stay focused through out a lengthy and exhausting presentation.

11. Learn To Work On A Kids Anxiety

No one is free from anxiety when making a public appearance, and except your kid is a pro in making public speech delivery, he or she will be a nervous wreck. Try to bring your kid to ease by showing him or care and support prior to them making a public outing. Your duty as a parent or caregiver, is to provide the right assistance in order for them to manage their anxiety. Teach them how to power of deep breathes and to always remember that you are rooting for them. 

No matter how many hours of practice had gone into the preparation for the speech, a child will still experience brief moments of self-doubt. This is where you ultimately should come in to reassure and boost their morale. What we might call a little “fooling,” most especially coming from their first ever biggest “role models”(that’s you as a parent), might be all they will ever need to propel them back to a place of self-confidence.

12. Teach Your Kid Not To “Read Off A Script”

Kids are not mature enough to understand that presenting is a means of conveying information to an audience, so they might get excited and start reading out the whole points to the audience. The purpose of PowerPoint slides is to serve as template to arrange your points. You should teach them to pick each point and explain them one after the other.

13. Making Eye contact

Your kid should also make proper eye contacts with the audience when making his or her speech. Good eye contact exudes an aura of confidence and authority. Some kids are in the habit of looking at their teachers or the judges of the event when making a presentation, especially when they are nervous or looking for validation. 

Teach them to focus all their attention on their subjects, to avoid distraction and not have them look like they are selling themselves to the organizers rather than passing information.

One of the best public speaking tips for kids that I got from my mentor (as a teenager) was to look at the audience’s foreheads initially because it sure is hard to look the crowd in the eye when you are still shy and inexperienced. For more on that please check the related article below:

Related Article: 6 Solid Tips About How to Make Eye Contact

14. Show Up Early Enough To Setup Shop

One way to avoid any embarrassing hiccups that might occur along the process, is to arrive very early enough to the venue to set up all that need to be in place for your kid’s use during the presentation. Be it having the PowerPoint slide in proper place, and having more than enough backups in other strategic places. Make sure the projector is in perfect working condition. Little checks and balances as this will help to avoid any disappointments along the way.

15. Using Hand Gestures

You can also teach your kids to use some hand gestures to sell point their point to the audience. A moderate use of hand gestures will not just aid him or her in communicating a lot better, your kid will also appear more mature and confident, giving them a great charisma, while setting them apart.

16. Teach Them To Work With Time

Always teach your kid proper time management. They must learn to work under time constraints. Irrespective of how much time is given for the presentation, they should learn to follow it. They should learn to summarize their speech in a way that they can finish in record time. So that in this way, they don’t get cut off abruptly as having spent too much time and not being able to go fully go through their work.

When considering public speaking tips for kids, one of the toughest to have them master is time management, so be keen to help them on this point.

17. Encourage them to Have Fun

public speaking tips for kids

Speaking in public can be a traumatic experience for a kid, depending on how much pressure was put into the presentation or event, the reaction of the audience to their performance, and worst a negative reaction from friends, family and you as a parent.

Out of all the public speaking tips for kids we wanted to share today, please don’t ignore this one. Remember to tell him/her that speaking in front of others is a great privilege, an opportunity to share the little knowledge that you have accumulated from your research, no one knows everything, but everybody has something worth sharing. So go up there and share what you have learned, smile and have fun, because I will be here watching and proud of you no matter what. And you know what? If anything happens, the projector stops or some people start laughing, then it was bound to happen, you do your best and that’s enough!

CONCLUSION

Children are less self-critical when about their performance in anything. When you teach your kids the power of having confidence in themselves, they immediately become more relaxed and feel more at home and natural with what they wish to present.

A kid that has been charged to with a healthy dose of self-assurance has nothing getting in their way to success. At this time, they are built to take on the world and will bulldoze their way through anything. Therefore, having the tips above at the back of your mind when coaching your kid can help reassure them and boost their confidence into becoming powerful public speakers.

Thank you for reading these far, these are the public speaking tips for kids we wanted to share with you today, hoping that it might help you or your child to have a better idea of how to prepare and deliver inspiring speeches.

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING

Here’s a list of other articles on public speaking tips for kids, that might be relevant and interesting to read.

Mary Likes. Help Your Child Overcome Public Speaking Fears. https://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/help-your-child-overcome-public-speaking-fears/. Accessed on 09/01/2019.

https://audiencealive.co.nz/presentation-skills-training/kids-presentation-skills-training/

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Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

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