Public Speaking anxiety is very real for many individuals, and it has an impact on kids too. The average person ranks their fear of public speaking higher than their fear of death! Maybe you had an experience where your nerves got the best of you before a big presentation. The truth is, this “stage fright” could be negatively affecting your child’s performance in school and their personal lives. But good news! There are many ways to calm these nerves, and we are here to help!
As a parent, it is important to ensure that your children have the confidence and skills to combat their public speaking fears!
Nervous is Normal
Let your child know that feeling nervous before a presentation is normal. Nerves mean that this moment is important to them. So important that their fight or flight system kicks in and adrenaline fills their body. Instead of letting their nerves get the best of them, let them know that they can use those feelings to drive more passion into their presentation. This will translate very well with any audience. If they begin to feel nervous, tell them to actively visualize themselves successfully delivering their presentation. They must clearly picture delivering their presentation with high levels of enthusiasm and confidence. With enough practice, these thoughts will quickly become reality.
Nobody Is Perfect
Your kids should not try to be perfect when public speaking! Obviously, as humans, we naturally strive for perfection, especially when presenting in front of an audience. However, this is a very unrealistic goal to have, and can actually hinder your child’s public speaking success. In their quest for perfection, your kids will be so worried about stumbling that they will actually stumble! That's because instead of focusing on success, they are focused on failure. Instead of encouraging your kids to strive for perfection, tell them to be themselves when presenting and let their words naturally flow.
Good Things Come In Threes
A great technique to try with your child is the 3-3-3 method! This technique is proven to calm common anxieties almost instantly and help presenters refocus. Before their presentation, tell your kids to name three things they see, three things they hear, and ask them to move three different body parts. After this easy exercise, their worries will disappear because they will be focused on the present moment.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Lastly, a great way to let go of public speaking fears is practice. When your child is consistently practising their public speaking abilities, they are sure to become confident presenters in no time! If they are presenting a speech, get them to practice multiple times until it is memorized, and they no longer need a script.
Not sure where to start? We can help! This summer Explorer Hop will be hosting a variety of unique leadership based programs, that are sure to provide your child with an abundance of confidence and skills to succeed in life! Our award winning Camp Millionaire programs has made finance fun for thousands of kids around the world.