Many young people dread giving speeches. Yet students will need to make presentations and will be called upon to speak up in class and answer questions.
One tool that parents can use to help ease their children’s fear and self-consciousness is to get them interested in reading great speeches.
Words can be inspirational. If young people can envision important figures giving a speech, they may be inspired to do the same. Being an effective communicator comes from practice and having good information.
You can provide feedback to your children to help them improve their skills.
First, make sure that children know that almost everyone is uncomfortable at one time or another when having to get up in front of people. Knowing this can help reduce their stress.
Many famous speeches have sparked an interest in poetry and public speaking: Among them are The Gettysburg Address, JFK’s inaugural address, The Declaration of Independence, and speeches by Winston Churchill, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ronald Reagan.
Whatever your political views or personal tastes, share your favorite speeches and sayings. Have your children read them aloud, so they can become more comfortable speaking in front of others.
The next time they have to give a five-minute speech on someone they admire for their English class, it will be much easier and more fun because they’ve been practicing. And they’ll have many more ideas.
The self-confidence that can come from speaking up and sharing information with others is invaluable.