The fear of speaking in public (glossophobia) is a fear shared by most people.
This is especially true amongst teenage children where social pressures are rife.
To be successful in their educational, professional, personal and social lives, our children will need to be able to present their points of view clearly and argue their credibility time and time again.
If we look at current unemployment statistics in the UK and US, the recession is only one contributing factor. There is also a huge skills gap. Graduates are lacking in communication skills according to employers’ organizations like the Confederation of British Industry, thus hampering their employability prospects and chances of developing into effective leaders.
The best time to start teaching kids public speaking is around 7. At this age they are relatively fearless but mature enough to understand the reasoning required for developing convincing arguments.
Here are just a couple of quick tips on how to start the development process and prepare fyour children for public speaking, in small steps, from a young age:
- Explain to your child / student what you are trying to do
- Keep it fun and lightweight – the fastest way to create resistance is for this to become another task or chore.
- Start with ‘Why?’ – get into the habit of asking your child to justify him or herself (only for benign unimportant things like “why is blue your favourite colour ?”).
- Gradually increase the scope of your reasoning questions by asking why more often and on more important issues, concepts and decisions.
- Allow your child reasoning time. If they cannot answer you straight away give them time to absorb the question and ask it again in a couple of days.
- Remember the point is not to get an answer; the goal is to help your child develop a “chain of thought” – a way to reason about a problem or question.
- Now you can help your child verbalize the solution or response.
Only once your child has mastered the above can you work your way towards quicker and confident responses.
Make the world an oyster for your kids get them involved in Public Speaking for Kids!