PART TWO (2) – PUBLIC SPEAKING TIPS FOR SCHOOL STUDENTS – July 7th
Tip #5: Teach Reason and Message Before Technique
Often we rush into teaching kids public speaking technique (because it is easy to teach). But they haven’t even tried to speak in front of a crowd yet.
Public speaking is like trying to learn how to drive a car. How do you learn?
You go to a car park where there is no cars at all and you just kind of drive around a bit to get use to driving. Then you start indicating, looking in you rear view mirror and then you start doing all these other things as well.
We start slow and we build up the technique as we go.
If you want to be a race car driver then you obviously need to learn a lot more car driving techniques than someone who just drives everyday, just around the place, like I do.
So with public speaking let’s use the same strategy to teach our students.
Let’s get them to practice. Let’s get them to learn how to create a message that is worth listening to. Get them to deliver it and then as they improve then (and only then) we focus on technique.
Don’t let the technique be first, let the message be first.
Tip #6: Give Lots Of Positive Feedback (Lots)
There are so many people in this world that are going to give your kids negative feedback. They are going to give them “constructive criticism” or they may downright insult your children.
But there are not enough people who are building our children up and who are giving them positive feedback.
Yes we are trying to help our children by offering them constructive criticism but often positive feedback works 10 times better.
I find the best way to teach my kids is just to tell them how awesome they are doing and encourage them to keep going. Then they learn naturally!
Public speaking can be learned naturally if you do it over and over again. But if you don’t have somebody encouraging you telling you that are doing a good job then you are unlikely to continue practicing. So positive feedback is massive.
If you absolutely HAVE to give constructive criticism then try this.
Try to sandwich it in 2 positive comments. “You did this awesome, you were so good when you got up and did this. You just might need to tweak this a little bit and look at the crowd a bit more, but your conclusion was awesome, the way that you said blahblahblah. That was amazing.”
So what are we doing is giving a positive feedback, squishing in a little bit of constructive criticism and then ending on positive feedback.
Tip #7: Use Video
Video is about to overtake text as the main way people consume content.
So video is about to overtake text.
My generation and people older than me think that this is not that important but it’s is going to change everything. So if you want your kids to be successful then it’s a good idea to start to teach them how to be comfortable in front of the camera.
It will help them when they are going for a job (more and more interviews are now done over skype). It will help them conduct and be involved in conference calls.
They may even want to upload stuff on YouTube or create training videos and we need to help them be confident doing that.
A video camera is a great way to teach people how to get up in front of a crowd. It is a stepping stone to the stage.
We can then get them at an early age to watch themselves and listen to themselves. And you know how we think: ‘oh gosh I sound so creepy, that is totally not me.’
If we can get them used to listening to themselves, then their confidence is going to grow.
That’s are my 7 tips for teaching public speaking to kids.
Tip #8: (I almost didn’t include this) Don’t Mark Our Kids
I believe we shouldn’t mark kids on technique. That’s something for another post but public speaking is something that improves with time something we get better at over time.
I think we mark technique way too much and we don’t look at the message that the kids are giving. We don’t teach them to think about the message, We don’t teach them to create a message that’s worth listening to.
We focus so heavily on the technique that our kids are getting so scared because we haven’t even taught them what to say yet, let alone how to say it.
By removing the marking system and making public speaking a game and not something we are going to mark you on and test you on kids are more likely to enjoy it and more likely to practice.
Why don’t we just make public speaking something that we do, something that’s fun, not something that’s tested?
Because I think if we make something engaging and we motivate them to do it without a use of a test then they are going to be more confident at it.
There are my tips about teaching public speaking to kids.
Make It A Champion Day!