You can never start too early on the journey of becoming a powerful communicator through practising public speaking skills. Luckily, kids are like little sponges when it comes to learning new skills.
And, yes, even public speaking can be fun and create life-long, useful habits for kids when it comes to great communication.
It might seem like extra pressure for kids to practice public speaking at the age of 8 or 9 years old. But, if approached with a sense of play and adventure, practising these skills while becoming a powerful communicator can be invaluable for kids later in life.
Becoming a powerful communicator will hone skills that will stay with your kids for the long run and prepare them for communicating with others. Here are four reasons why public speaking skills are great for children to learn.
#1 Facing Their Fears
So many of us as kids learned that speaking in front of a group of people is scary. Becoming a powerful communicator includes facing our fears in a safe space. If children learn that feeling anxious about speaking in front a group is normal, they won’t feel as isolated or judged.
Instill A Sense Of Play
When public speaking skills are approached as a game or as a part of playing, it takes the sting out of it. This is why we go to see ‘plays’ in the theatre. The actors are playing with the text and putting their own personal stamp on the words. They’re owning their words.
Children learn to own their story on the journey of becoming a powerful communicator through public speaking skills. Practising speaking their words in a playful and colourful way can help them create more engaging stories later on in work situations.
Tackle Fear In Becoming A Powerful Communicator
When children are given a safe space to explore the learning process they’re half way to becoming a powerful communicator. The more they do something and repeat it, the less scary that activity becomes.
Each time they get up in front of their peers or a group of people, it’s important to put the emphasis on learning something new as opposed to either ‘winning’ or ‘failing’.
Repetition also creates structure and children are more apt to thrive in an atmosphere of structure than just ‘winging it’.
#2 Becoming a Confident Communicator Takes Preparation and Practice
Among the benefits of learning public speaking skills is that children learn how to prepare. Becoming a powerful communicator means thinking about what you’re going to say before you get up in front of an audience.
Public speaking skills include practice and preparation. Teaching our children these skills means arming them with techniques to help them go into communication situations ready and prepared.
Becoming A Powerful Communicator Thrives With Structure
Structured skills for practising will discourage ‘winging it’. This avoids setting kids up for a disappointing experience where they may feel like they didn’t do their best.
Putting the emphasis on ‘good work, well done’ instead of ‘you’re talented’ also sets up a structure where children are rewarded for putting the work it. If they think they’re just ‘talented’ then they may not think they have to implement a structure beforehand.
#3 Eye Contact Is Key In Becoming a Powerful Communicator
No eye contact
The downcast eyes, arms folded across your chest, or caving in on yourself…. These are all physical indicators that hinder becoming a powerful communicator.
They are all very normal responses when children feel uncomfortable getting up in front of a group of peers. We’re a herd species so we would rather be part of the herd than out in front of the herd. But kids can learn to manage their fears or self-consciousness.
Good eye contact!
Practicing strong, clear eye contact with your audience and having an open body posture helps children become a powerful communicator. Eye contact is a key skill when it comes to public speaking and helps kids feel what it’s like to directly engage their audience.
Even though it may feel awkward the first few times they try it, practicing eye contact on a regular basis will help with their confidence.
Eye contact helps your kids get used to not hiding and stand in their confidence. They can take this confidence with them when it comes to presentations or job interviews later on in college or at work.
#4 A Powerful Communicator BREATHES
Children are amazing. They begin as perfectly balanced, grounded, deeply breathing little beings. Little kids breathe perfectly. They stand perfectly. Then… life happens.
We all pick up habits in our teen years that can set the tone for our confidence or lack thereof later on in our lives. Good breathing technique helps children to calm down, ground themselves, and support their voices when they speak.
Breathing Is For Life
Good, centred breathing is key in becoming a powerful communicator and giving our kids a connection with their bodies and their voices. Good connected breathing is a skill that you can take with you through your whole life.
It will serve to help empower your kids and their voices as well as help settle them when they get anxious or scared.
It’s Never Too Early To Practice Becoming A Powerful Communicator
We all want to give our kids the best start we can. Giving them a few basic public speaking skills early on can help them succeed later on in their personal and professional life.
Breathing, eye contact, good posture, and practising facing your fears make for strong personal communication in all our relationships.
Becoming a powerful communicator can be fun, non-threatening, and an adventure if you approach it in the right way. It encourages our kids to shine and speak up in a safe, structured atmosphere.
The journey of becoming a powerful communicator through public speaking skills can be an adventure. It just might help our children to feel more confident and empowered later on down the line.