Are you teaching your homeschoolers the art of public speaking? Do you know the disciples – fishermen- became “public speakers”? Moses was given the job to be a public speaker but he lacked complete confidence in himself. In response God asked, “who made man’s mouth“?
A great way for your homeschoolers to conquer the fear of public speaking is to have them practice speaking early and often. Let them give presentations on a school projects at the end of the night to the whole family or to your co-op, or playdate! Can’t get together create an audience – print out pictures of friends and tape them to the wall! Let your children get in the habit of leading prayer!
Teach children how to present a speech. Stand properly, make eye contact, and smile. Remind them to breathe! Teach children to control their speech rather than race through it. If they know a subject they are capable of speaking on it ! (many political are not confident on subjects and yet they make the best public speakers).
Role play. Encourage your homeschooler to pretend to be different characters – pick strong leaders for them to reenact among their siblings and friends (don’t let them settle on the coward who runs away and hides). Sign them up for church worship, drama, Christmas plays, or other opportunities to be before a crowd. (I was a gymnast for 6 years and a cheerleader for 4 years – I have no problem getting up before crowds. Not saying the wrong thing is another story)!
Many children are natural “camera hogs” and definitely should learn humility. However – always allowing your child to sit in the back and not participate will never give them the experience nor confidence they will need to speak confidently before people. Sign them up for Awana, Boy Scouts, or 4H to give them confidence to participate among their peers. Purchase a microphone (or karaoke machine) so they are familiar with the equipment.
For older students start a debate club among friends – not an arguing club. Teach them how to debate effectively on topics moms assign (this is also great for current events) – let other moms be the judges. For younger homeschoolers invite friends over to give presentations / speeches – and promote it as “show and tell”.
A game we play in the house my husband picked up from a Toast Masters group. After dinner we give each person a “topic” and 1 minute to prepare before talking about it. Obviously my 8yr old usually ends up describing Star Wars or Batman. Topic does not matter practice does! We all sit quietly and pay attention teaching how to be good listeners is important too – and then wildly applaud when the speech is finished! Encouragement is powerful!
The fear of public speaking haunts many adults. Why not empower our children at an early age the ability to calmly handle speaking in public settings!