The unexpected benefits of mastering public speaking at a young age.
Most of us are well aware that speaking with confidence and authority can open up doors in academia and ease our climb up the career ladder. When we think about great orators, our minds tend to conjure up images of innovators, pioneers and political leaders.
Because we assume that public speaking is reserved for the crème de la crème of our society, we often forget to examine this skill outside a corporate context. In doing so, we fail to observe the everyday ways in which public speaking can facilitate personal growth and development.
Take a look at these four unexpected benefits of practicing public speaking as a child:
1. Increased Empathy
Public speaking is an incredible way for young children to begin fine-tuning their sense of empathy. When children begin practicing the art of public speaking, they must repeatedly engage with the perspective of their audience in a deeper and more nuanced manner. Is their communication style relatable to others? Is their content clear and interesting?
The capacity to not only ask these questions, but also, to extend their imagination in order to seek out a meaningful answer, is at the core of why public speaking is such an important empathy-building tool.
2. Planning Skills
A 2009 study on participants ages 9-17 found that children demonstrated a greater ability to set goals, organize, collaborate and research after preparing a short presentation for a public speaking event. Repeatedly exposing children to structured forms of public speaking is important, because most children don’t get to practice generating plans until their later adolescent years!
Not only do they have to plan their content into comprehensible and easily digestible chunks, they must also prepare several contingency plans. What happens if they forget a key piece of information? If they stutter? If they skip over a certain section? The ability to account for unprecedented situations allows children to incorporate flexibility into their creative planning.
Most children do not instinctively express themselves in a way that is effective, fluent, or cohesive. In order to learn clear and purposeful self-expression, research shows that children must be engaged in consistent, systematic instruction.
Remote learning can be quite detrimental to this learning process, because it removes the opportunity for structured student-to-student interaction. On the other hand, public speaking practice provides a structured way for children to practice fluid self-expression at a young age.
4. Confidence and Self-Esteem
The self-satisfaction that comes with clear and well-expressed communication extends well beyond the moment of applause. This is because communication allows us to bridge the gap between internal ideas and the external world.
By communicating in an effective manner at a young age, your child will internalize the idea that they are capable of spreading messages that the world will find valuable. Children therefore begin to value not only the way in which they express their ideas, but also, the creation of those ideas in themselves.
Understanding that the benefits of public speaking can go beyond tangible career and academic opportunities is important. It helps us recognize how we can help our children become more well-rounded and confident overall.
‘Take the Stage’ is designed to help your child overcome shyness or stage fright and learn the tools and techniques of public speaking in a structured, judgement-free space with like-minded peers. This four week course will teach your children everything they need to know about becoming impactful communicators.
The first batch starts on June 22nd.
To enroll, click here!