We've all been there and done that. Yet, for most of us, public speaking remains a nerve-wracking experience. Despite hours of practice, the sight of a stage, sends shivers down the spine and we find ourselves in a conundrum of thoughts.
The main reason for this paralyzing fear is because we get overwhelmed by the audience and their capacity to judge us. If this fear is not dealt with early, it may persist to cause problems of socializing, and of being accepted in social circles.
A few confidence building activities can be practiced to make children more comfortable while speaking on the stage or in front of the class.
Ask the children to walk up to the front of the class, introduce themselves by saying their names, describe the clothes they are wearing, thanking everyone for listening, and then ask them to return to their place.
You could begin this activity, by introducing yourself as their teacher. Instruct the children to emulate you, and coax them if they fumble. Cheer every kid with nice comments, as it boosts their moral and assures them of their act.
Once the children are familiar with each other after the introduction, interviews can be conducted in the following week. This will help the children to be insightful about people and objects around him/her, with the interviewing technique. In this technique, divide the children into pairs.
Every child has to ask the partner questions to find out 3 striking points. Once they are done with the interview, ask every pair to come up onstage, one by one, and talk about the striking points for 2-3 minutes. These points can be fictional or funny, as long as they reveal something about the partner.
By now, your students or children must be quite friendly, considering that they've worked as partners. This makes this exercise the obvious next move. Talking about personal details is a great speaking exercise for everyone.
For this exercise, the student has to make a small write up about personal details, memorize and then speak about them in front of the class. This way, one learns to open up to the audience, fearlessly. Students can narrate a funny, embarrassing, tragic, moving, exciting, or an interesting incident about themselves.
One Act Play
A little drama is always good fun to learn expression, and build confidence. In the fourth and the final week, give your students exactly five minutes, to do this exercise. Every child has to demonstrate a skill or a talent in front of the class. The child can do this activity with or without a prop.
Say, the child gets a toy from home, and talks about it for five minutes. If a child is good at singing, then performing a song with histrionics is a good option too. These gesticulations and histrionics are way of teaching the child to do multiple things at a time, without losing the focus.
Public speaking activities are not just about talking, it's more about constructing a logical sequence to every statement and putting them across in a way that your audience understands it. It is more about organizing your speech and delivering it with confidence and conviction. Hope these activities help you, to help your child!