One of the greatest fears holding people back from achieving their full potential is the fear of speaking in public. Whether it’s giving a presentation or a simple speech, there’s something about standing in front of a group of others that triggers an almost panic-like reaction in people of all ages. That fear must be addressed early on through training and practice. Otherwise, that irrational dread can grow and throw up roadblocks to a child’s success in their personal, professional, and academic lives.
Here’s a few reasons why teens need to learn public speaking skills and how these skills can help them throughout life.
How Public Speaking Help Students Achieve More
If your child gets nervous speaking around others, a Toastmasters-style public speaking course will give them a boast that’ll last a lifetime! Public speaking skills for teens are not only important for class presentations during school years, but also for extracurricular activities such as acting or singing and for their future career opportunities. Yet as Sister Bear demonstrates in the popular kids’ book The Berenstain Bears Get Stage Fright, good preparation can help a person overcome this fear.
Public speaking plays a major role in everyone’s lives throughout the day. In particular, it is a critical ability for those aspiring to leadership or management positions in any field. But the ability to stand up and convince others of one’s point of view is critical for us all, no matter what our goals.
It doesn’t matter if the “audience” is an auditorium, a boardroom, or the dining room! Being able to grab a group’s attention and compel them through well-spoken, logical, and engaging communication is a powerful, versatile talent to possess. The biggest obstacle to developing that talent is fear of public speaking.
For example, I remember my fear of speaking out during the first two years of my university classes. As a homeschool student, I had little experience in talking to a classroom. Thankfully, I attended a small university with small class sizes, supportive professors, and encouraging friends. A couple of my friends in particular supported me when I did raise my courage enough to say something. My professors also often said they enjoyed my contributions to class.
Slowly, over the four years of my degree, I gained confidence in raising my hand and contributing to the conversations in the classroom. This contributed greatly to my positive experience at university and to my good marks.
Once acquired through public speaking classes for kids, public speaking skills will add value throughout your child’s life, empowering them with a more assertive, more confident personality. They’ll understand how to prepare an organized, fact-filled argument, case, or presentation, then communicate their message effectively to the intended audience. They will also learn to think faster on their feet without getting tongue-tied in the face of opposition, making them fierce advocates for themselves and others.
Tutoring Helps Students Become Effective Public Speakers
Some kids (and adults) become truly petrified at the thought of speaking in public. Others are simply nervous about it, but almost everyone who hasn’t benefited from formal training becomes anxious to some degree. It’s ironic since most people love to talk, but human nature causes us to worry about the perception and judgment of others (even when we have no reason to do so). A child who may talk up a storm to their close friends may lock down completely when standing in front of those same friends in a classroom!
Unfortunately, most school systems provide insufficient coaching on overcoming that intangible intimidation factor. Most also barely cover the basics when it comes to developing the critical skill set of public speaking, which is why so many students grow up to be very ineffective communicators as adults!
Luckily, young people are uniquely situated to overcome sensations of fear and hesitation and to become masterful orators. In fact, online learning is one of the fastest, easiest ways to achieve this. Through fun, non-judgmental, non-intimidating online environments, tweens and teens can explore those inner abilities that have just been waiting to come out!
With sufficient early training via online courses taught by experienced mentors, students can unlock an incredibly wide range of talents, including:
- building leadership abilities
- learning how to develop compelling oral arguments
- discovering ways to enhance the efficacy of verbal communications
- using their vocal delivery and messages to persuade others more effectively
- interacting with peers in a more meaningful way
- engaging persons in authority (such as parents and teachers) in a confident, mature manner
- achieving more goals by getting what they what more frequently through compelling discourse
- improving relationships by learning how to listen and respond appropriately
- transforming into confident young people who are good with others
- getting on track to become successful adults able to excel in academics, careers, and relationships!
There are different methodologies used for such training, but the Toastmasters-style public speaking approach is the most popular and entertaining. A Toastmasters-style online course is particularly geared towards enabling students to organize and articulate their message in a professional, compelling manner that wins over the listeners no matter what the topic.
Through fun, engaging small group sessions, students taking a suitable public speaking course will learn how to relax and combine verbal and body language. They’ll be able to captivate any audience and gain an edge in almost any circumstance.
From how to outline a speech to regulating their emotions, overcoming anxiety, making proper introductions, leading impromptu talks, delivering speeches with confident body language, and debating opponents in front of others, public speaking tutoring courses deliver an endless array of invaluable tools. Affordable, 8-week Toastmaster public speaking courses like those offered by Monster Education are sure to transform a student’s entire life and strengthen virtually all their relationships.
Both my dad and my husband have been involved with Toastmasters for work-related reasons. I remember them going to weekly meetings, preparing their speeches, and talking about giving feedback to their peers. They had a safe, fun environment in which to work on these skills with friends. At other speaking events we attended, Dad would comment on the number of times a speaker used “um” in his presentations. Today, I still notice that—and try very hard to avoid using “um” when I’m speaking or recording videos!
Statistics say that 74% of people (both men and women) suffer from the fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia. More people turn to self-help books for this topic than any other alone. Helping your kids overcome this fear at a young age, or learn the skills to stand up and speak despite their fear, will put them on the path to success in whatever educational or career goals they may have.
Is speaking in public one of your fears? Have you or your kids done public speaking classes? How would you rate your teen’s public speaking skills — or your own?