Your kiddo has a gift for gab and you have a feeling you’re looking at the next Oprah or Obama, or a lawyer or politician. How can you cultivate your child’s love for public speaking so that it becomes a skill they can take with them throughout life?
- Make videos with your kids!
Whether they end up on YouTube or they’re just for family enjoyment, get your child comfortable being center stage and speaking up! They can have fun in the video, singing and dancing if they like, or they can tell a story or pretend to report the news. As long as they’re enjoying it, it will help them to shine in the spotlight!
- Help them practice their lines.
If your child is working on a speech or their lines for a play or other kind of public presentation, help them practice! Be patient when they inevitably forget some of them or can’t remember their cues, and come up with ways for them to remember. Be supportive and patient and show them how proud you are!
- Show them how good it feels to be listened to.
When your kids are telling a story, stop and listen. Make eye contact and ask questions. Show them that you are interested in what they have to say. When they know that their thoughts are valuable to someone, they will never be afraid to speak up.
- Ask questions
Make sure your kids know that you are interested. Don’t ask the same things every day – one too many “And how was your day?’s will shut them down fast. Instead, ask “What was your favorite part of your day?” or “What did you play outside today?” or something else that will spark conversation and a story.
- Model good communication.
Don’t only talk to people you know, especially in front of your children. Ask strangers you pass how they are and compliment their shirt or say hello to their dog or their kids. When you’re with people you do know, don’t let the kids see you argue or look bored. Always show them active listening.
- Use an adult-sized vocabulary.
Don’t make up silly words for your kids – speak to them as you speak normally. Speaking down to them does not encourage growth, and they’ll understand you. They’ll soon have a very impressive vocabulary and it will surpass your own before you know it. When your children use words incorrectly, let them know they \did a good job while you give them a more accurate definition and model a better way to use it.
- Have the children call their family members.
We are a world that has started texting everyone and now we avoid phone calls. Have your kids call their grandparents and other family members to deliver exciting news and tell them about their week. Not only will that foster relationships and give them more people practicing those listening skills with them, but it’s another way to practice their storytelling and speaking.
So if you’re a parent who has noticed your child standing in the mirror with a pretend microphone delivering speeches or the news, or you’ve listened to countless stories and noticed your child has very strong opinions for your age, you might just have the next great public orator on your hands. With these six tips, you should be able to foster a love for public speaking that will only grow over time.
You can also register your kids for ClasShare’s Public Speaking course, where they’ll learn to create elevator pitch and develop their talking points, as well as time management and the art of reflection so that they can properly critique their own work! Thanks to your support and ClasShare’s highly-qualified teachers, soon you’ll be the parent of a gifted orator who has conquered everyone’s greatest fear of public speaking!