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  • Writer's pictureMs. Liz

From Shy to Shine: Essential Public Speaking Tips for Kids

Public speaking can be daunting for both children and adults; in fact, studies show that public speaking is the No.1 fear. However, with the right approach, anyone can become a confident speaker. The secret lies in consistent practice and positive reinforcement. Here are some effective tips to help your child transition from shy to shining on stage.

Start Small and Build Confidence

Begin with simple exercises, such as having your child read a poem or a short story to the family. This familiar environment can help ease their initial nerves. Gradually, you can increase the audience size and the complexity of the speeches, allowing them to build confidence step by step.

At Mud Pies, we are preparing our students for the 2024 LCM Speech Festival in Hong Kong. This wonderful event fully supports children in developing their public speaking skills. My own children have always thoroughly enjoyed the festival and thrived with the chance to improve their performances.

How often should you practise a performance piece? Parents and children often don't believe me when I say that practise is key. How often do my daughters practice their performance pieces? It's around 8 times a day leading up to the festival! "Where do you get the time I hear?" Here it is - 2x While they brush their teeth in the bathroom, 2x while eating breakfast, while walking to school, when I get home from work, via video if I'm working late, 2x after dinner and any other times we can squeeze in! Performing outside in a park or playground is great as it reminds them to project their voices. What's the point? If children feel completely confident with the pieces they are performing, they can focus on the delivery and shine in their performance.

Tip of the Day: Record and Review Practice Sessions

Recording your child's practice sessions can be incredibly beneficial. Watch the recordings together and highlight what they did well, while also gently pointing out areas for improvement. You'd be surprised what children can identify in their performances to work on. Always conclude with positive reinforcement to boost their confidence and encourage continuous progress.

By incorporating these strategies, you'll help your child develop the skills they need to excel in public speaking, transforming their initial shyness into a shining performance.

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