At Mindful Presenter we believe that speech is one of the most powerful tools we each have.
When we equip our young people with the confidence and skill to speak in public they can grow to do some incredible things. They can inspire change and unite people in a common cause or simply succeed in connecting with others more effectively.
We need to teach them to manage their nerves and to help them to speak with passion, clarity and impact. We need to show them how to command an audience, keep their attention and how to answer questions. Just imagine what the world would look like if our children were taught how to tell stories, to give and receive feedback and to listen.
To succeed in the workplace today we are increasingly called on to communicate with confidence and to articulate information in a clear and coherent way to peers and colleagues.
To succeed in life and work we need to be able to connect with people and that means not being afraid to speak in public as so many of us were taught to be as children and still carry the burden today.
A message for parents – Children need to be heard as well as seen, find a way to help them
Encouraging our schools to teach our children how to find their voice and speak in public is critical but on it’s own is not enough. If you are a parent please don’t just wait for that to happen. You have a major role to play too, and the mission starts with you. Why not take the opportunity to help your child to find their voice during this challenging time.
– The first challenge of course is to make the very idea of public speaking fun and to remove the pressure so many adults feel themselves at the very thought of speaking in public. With that in mind I’d suggest that when discussing the topic with your child not to mention the term public speaking. Often it’s helpful to reframe it to something that may be more friendly, helpful and even exciting to them.
Perhaps, speaking with confidence, self-expression, being heard, how to stand out, sharing your voice, etc.
– Spend some time getting them to read stories and poems to you and make up their own. As they do so gradually get them to share some of their stories and poems openly to close relatives and friends who you know will encourage and support them too. There are some really helpful articles online, which although whilst focused primarily on singing offer some fabulous advice to help children develop their voices.
– Set them a fun but personal challenge of speaking standing up in front of just you talking in as much detail as they can about something important to them or that they care about or simply like. It could be a hobby, interest, sport, book, film, friend, food, anything – ask him/her to just be themselves and speak openly and honestly about it.
– Encourage and help them to stretch their voice by reading pages from their favourite book. Start by reading in a happy and excited voice, a loud voice, quiet voice and even a funny voice.
– Show them how to play with the pace of their voice and how to speak faster, slower and pause for a moment after each sentence.
– Teach them how to breathe properly before they speak.
– Find strange objects around the house and ask them to make up stories about what they think it is and what it’s used for.
– If you have the opportunity, do the exercise above but ask their permission to capture them speaking by video on your phone, iPad, etc, assuring them that no one else will see it and that you will delete it if they want you to. Once you’ve recorded them, sit with your child and play the video back. Ask them to focus exclusively on looking for three things they likes about the way they speak. ( Most people, including most adults we work with find that a challenge). Don’t give up though, encourage them to find something, even if it’s one or two things. Then share everything you like about the way they speak. Be honest with them but only be positive by focusing on the things you genuinely like. At this stage don’t mention any problems, opportunities or issues.
– Teach your child the power of making eye contact by the two of you discussing something he/she is interested in, encouraging both of you to make as much eye contact as possible. Then perhaps, show them the impact of what happens when you don’t make eye contact when you are speaking. You break eye contact with him/her and ask them how it feels and then switch around.
– You can take eye contact even further by placing a few chairs around them with post it notes on the top of each one with eyes drawn on them and ask your child to talk about something he/she likes while making sure they make eye contact with each of the post it’s. Ask them to imagine having a conversation with the post it notes and to see them as their friends.
– If your child feels nervous or anxious get them to choose a superhero. If he/she has one that they like already, perfect, if not ask them to select somebody they could like or relate to. Ask them to stand, breath, think like and look like their superhero as they read a few paragraphs from their favourite book.
– Give them interesting and fun topics to prepare a 3 minute speech on and give them the gift of practicing speaking openly and giving them feedback. Topics could include things like:
If he/she were the head of their school what 3 things would they change immediately and why?
If he/she could do anything in the world where there were no obstacles at all, what would they do?
– Find a strange object in the house that your child won’t be familiar with. Ask them to imagine that he/she is a world famous archaeologist who has just returned from a major dig. Ask them to imagine that they have found this strange item that no one has ever seen before. Ask them to use their imagination and create a use for it and then stand and share their amazing find. (this one may be more of a challenge but the idea is to make it fun and interesting as well as a challenge). Give your child lots of good feedback every time he/she speaks.
– Do some fun vocal exercises with them, there are plenty on YouTube you can have some fun with.
– Ask them to write down everything that worries them, makes them anxious or fearful in any way about the idea of speaking in groups and then encourage your child to reframe his/her thinking.
Make It A Champion Day!

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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