Posts Tagged ‘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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This is What Teaching is All About!

February 28, 2011

There is so much anti-teacher propaganda in the news at the moment, it is refreshing to come across a story which gives us an example of teaching at its very best.  We’ve all had students that appear shy and struggle to find a voice in the classroom.  Some teachers ignore the problem and allow the student to fall under the radar, others berate the child for not contributing to classroom discussions and activities.  And then there’s this rather unorthodox method:

A 10-year-old student has shaved off his teacher’s hair after completing a dare to overcome his shyness.

Taewoong Jeong, from Korea, could barely speak in front of his classmates at Gems World Academy. His Grade 5 teacher, William Clark, said his bashful nature was holding him back.

“I thought it was perhaps a lack of English language skills,” said Clark. “But then I found out that wasn’t the case because he is a good writer.

“It later dawned on me that the child had a fear of public speaking.”

His classmates came up with a solution. “It began as a joke,” said Mr Clark. “They said, ‘If Taewoong sings in assembly, you should get your head shaved, Mr C’.”

Mr Clark agreed, and the dare was set. If Taewoong worked up the courage to stand up in front of a school assembly and sing the national anthem, he would be allowed to shave off his teacher’s hair.

The Taewoong Project, as it came to be known, included posters plastered around the school, urging Taewoong to go through with the dare.

Mr Clark recalls: “Every Thursday I would ask him, ‘Is today the day Taewoong?’. We could see that every week he would muster up a little more courage for it.

“His classmates would constantly motivate him too.”

“What he did last week, though, has made him my hero.”

It took three months, but last week Taewoong overcame his fears and got up in front of the school.

“I just did it,” said Taewoong. “I definitely feel more confident and think I can do it again.”

True to his word, Mr Clark brought out the shaver for Taewoong. “I told him, this is a life long deal.  If you cannot do it during your time at school, send me a video of your achievement from wherever you are and even if I am in Antarctica, I will send across a video with my head shaved off.”

For Taewoong this was the fun part: “I felt really happy and weird at the same time.”

Mr Clark believes this experience will help Taewoong get through other difficult situations.

“Noting will be that hard for him anymore,” he said. “Whenever he is faced with an audience and fear grips him, he will have to memory to help him through.”

Taewoong’s father, Simon Jeong, said he appreciates the effort put in by his class teacher: “It was a unique style adopted by Mr Clark where my son was pushed to taking a risk. I think it will make Taewoong a go-getter.”

I just love this story.  It goes to show that the best way to deal with challenges in the classroom is to think outside the box, build your students up, instill a support group feel amongst the group and build a fun and lively atmosphere. Whilst I’m not sure I have it in me to have my hair shaved off, this story inspires me to work even harder to ensure that no child is left out, ignored or unsupported.

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