Posts Tagged ‘fear of public speaking’

Teaching Kids the Art of Public Speaking

October 16, 2013



Courtesy of


Step 1Brainstorm topic ideas. Your child will feel more confident making a speech if he is passionate about, or at least familiar with, the subject matter. Topics might include a favorite hobby, memories of a family vacation or a persuasive speech on why your child thinks he needs a bigger allowance.

Step 2Create a preliminary outline. Instruct your child to write down everything he knows about his chosen topic. For instance, your child might write down instructional details or tips and personal feelings about his favorite hobby.

Step 3Research online or at the local library. Fill in what your child knows with facts. For instance, if he is giving a speech about soccer, he might research the history of the sport. If he is describing a family vacation, he might look for information about the geography and culture of the vacation site.

Step 4Help your child organize the material into an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction should be short, but catchy. Include a joke or anecdote to catch the audience’s attention. The body of the speech should include two to five main points accompanied by supporting facts. Your child may wish to include short stories in the body to weave a narrative. The conclusion is a brief summary of the speech. Help your child find an applicable quote or anecdote to wrap up the subject matter.

Step 5Encourage your child to write short notes on cards to help him if he gets lost during his speech. Don’t allow him to write the entire speech on cards, though, or he’ll be tempted to read and avoid eye contact.

Step 6Assemble an audience of friends and family so that your child can practice his speech in a non-threatening environment. Encourage your child to speak slowly and engage his audience with eye contact. If he is fidgety, it may help him to hold onto a podium or table.

Step 7Address your child’s concerns before he gives his speech to a formal audience. Remind him that it is okay to feel nervous or scared. He doesn’t have to give the speech perfectly. Encourage him to relax and simply tell his story.


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One Woman’s Plight to Overcome Shyness (Video)

January 2, 2013


Shyness is a very underrated issue in the schoolyard and one I have written about on this blog. Last year I wrote a post giving 8 tips to help students overcome shyness.

Emma Pickles, a once deeply shy young girl, seems to have come up with an original method of her own:

A teenager who used to be so shy she avoided parties and could not speak in class has become an internet star through her YouTube channel.

Emma Pickles, 18, found courage after years of struggling with crippling social anxiety after posting makeup tutorial videos online.

More than 1.5 million people have watched her transform herself into everything from movie characters Edward Scissorhands and X-Men’s Mystique to pop star Katy Perry and terrifying monsters.


Emma, from Halifax, Yorkshire used to be controlled by her shyness which prevented her from speaking in front of people and caused her to shun social events.

Two years ago, her social anxiety got so bad she stopped answering questions at school and after her work suffered she began seeing a counsellor.


She says she became self-conscious at a very young age which developed into a fear of public speaking, even to the point where she struggled to ask for a ticket at the cinema.

Emma said: ‘I wouldn’t leave the house without putting on a full face of makeup and I even panicked at answering my phone.

‘When a teacher asked me a question in class I used to go bright red and start shaking all over.

‘When I would go to the cinema I even found it hard to ask for a ticket. I don’t know why, there is no reason but I was scared.’


But when she began posting her videos, Emma gained new confidence and her incredible makeup tutorials are now followed by thousands of loyal fans who subscribe to her channel.

She says she feels more comfortable speaking to people online and that she has YouTube to thank for her new self-assurance.

‘I’ve achieved so much through YouTube and having to speak in front of a camera has given me a lot more confidence.

‘It’s really weird that so many people have subscribed to my channel. I had no idea it would go this well but it’s so nice.

‘I even met my boyfriend through YouTube.’


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