Is there anything scarier and more nerve-racking than the words "school presentation?" Sure, now that we're grown up and have given work presentations during meetings, we might feel that we have this whole public speaking thing down and that we can confidently talk in public anytime.
But when you're a kid and you're on the shy side, it can be really difficult to give a speech during your school's annual contest or even just an everyday presentation. There are many things that moms can do to help their children with this tricky situation, and after, your little one will be so pleased and proud of themselves for handling their fear. Here are 10 ways to help shy kids with school presentations.
10 Ask What Their Main Concern Is
We've all been concerned about something and then talked to someone about it. Once we get it off our chest, we feel like a huge weight has been lifted and we can't believe how much better and happier we feel.
When your little one is nervous about giving a school speech because they're a bit on the shy side, asking what they're most worried about can be a great idea. Maybe they're nervous about forgetting what they're going to say. Or they don't want the other kids to laugh at them. Or they just want to be prepared enough. Once you know what's really bugging them, you can help them out and work on settling those nerves.
9 Talk About How Everyone Gets Nervous
It's easy to think that everyone else is super confident and no one else is struggling with what we are. Your child might assume that their classmates have no problem giving school presentations whereas they're really worried about it.
You can help them out by talking to them about how everyone gets nervous. Chat about how this is a totally normal, common thing, and that their friends are most likely experiencing the same thoughts and emotions. This should help them see that they're not alone.
8 Practice A Lot
People often say that "practice makes perfect" because, well, it definitely does. When we want to talk to a family member, friend, or spouse about something important, we might practice it in our head beforehand. Or if we have a presentation at the office, we probably want to practice ahead of time.
You can also help your kid out with their school presentation by practicing a lot. If you have a week or two before the presentation, spend some time every day working on it. By the time your little one has to make their speech, they'll be super comfortable since they'll have worked on it a lot.
7 Pick A Familiar Or Favorite Subject
Even the most shy and quiet people will come totally alive when speaking about something that they care about and love. If your kid can pick a familiar or favorite subject, that will do wonders for helping them make a great school presentation.
Ask them what they want to talk about and chances are, they'll get excited about the topic that they've chosen.
6 Let The Teacher Know About Their Nerves
Teachers want to help, and they definitely don't want your child to be upset about giving a speech. After all, they're just following the curriculum, and speeches tend to be kind of a rite of passage in school. Your child is definitely going to be giving a lot of presentations over the course of their academic career.
Let the teacher know that your kid is feeling nervous and concerned about the upcoming presentation. They will be able to give you some tips for calming down their nerves. Or maybe they'll let your kid go first, which could help since they would be getting it over with.
5 Talk About Why Public Speaking Is Important
Although many of us would definitely prefer never to speak in public, there are times when it's necessary. When your kid is shy and worried about giving a speech, you can have a conversation about why public speaking is important.
You can tell them that it's good for becoming more confident, connecting with other people, and getting the chance to talk about something that they're passionate about.
4 Share About Your Own School Presentations
Kids love hearing stories from when their parents were little. If you have any memories about your own school days giving school speeches, why not share those with your kid?
You could talk about the grade two speech you gave about your cat, or the high school presentation on your favorite band where you got to really have fun with it. Your little one will really enjoy hearing this and it will ease their nerves and mind since they'll know that you've experienced the same thing that they're about to.
3 Keep Things Positive
Staying positive is often one of the best things that we can do no matter what situation we're in. If you can help your kid see giving a presentation at school as a super positive thing, that make the experience much better for them.
It's always useful to reframe something and approach it with optimism. Instead of seeing the speech as something scary that is making them upset, your child will view this as a new experience that they can conquer and feel proud of themselves after.
2 Teach Them Some Memory Tricks
We all remember back in our school days when our moms would help us study for tests and exams. She would tell us to remember an acronym so we could commit a tough collection of words or phrases to memory.
We can do the same thing for our little one and figure out a cool, fun acronym to remember the main points of their speech. Or another trick so they can feel more confident and comfortable about speaking in front of their class.
1 Schedule Something Really Fun For After
Even though you're trying your best to assist your little one with their upcoming school presentation, it also helps to know that there's something enjoyable to look forward to after the big speech is over.
You can schedule something like a family dinner at your favorite pizza restaurant, some time to make a fun dessert together, or a weekend trip to an apple farm or pumpkin patch (now that fall is here). This upcoming plan is sure to put a big smile on your child's face and they'll want to actually give their school presentation in order for the fun family activity to happen.