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9 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Presentation Skills

Child presenting to classmates.

For many students, standing up in front of their peers and presenting can be a nerve-wracking experience. They are often worried about being judged, appearing nervous, or forgetting the material they have prepared.

As these anxiety-inducing oral presentations are often mandatory in school, it’s important that you work with your child to help improve his or her confidence in public speaking.

Fortunately, there are many public speaking tips for students that can help your child improve his or her confidence and presentation skills.

Learn more about ways you can improve your child’s public speaking skills on a regular basis, in the weeks before a presentation, and the morning of a presentation.

On A Regular Basis

Enroll Your Child in an Activity That Promotes Discussion

Help your child become more comfortable speaking publicly by enrolling him or her in an after-school activity that promotes group discussion.

Activities such as debate team and book club help build confidence by encouraging young people to speak openly to a group of peers. Once your child starts speaking publicly on a regular basis, speaking in front of his or her class may be less intimidating.

Encourage Your Child in Conversation

If you notice your child speaking up at the dinner table or at a social event, encourage him or her! Tell your child that he or she brings up great points and should elaborate. If your child believes that his or her opinion is interesting and worth hearing, he or she will be more confident sharing in front of others.

When Preparing For The Presentation

Help Your Child Organize (And Memorize) The Material

The first step in memorizing a presentation is proper organization. Help your child organize what he or she wants to say into main topics. This will help give the presentation a better flow and make it easier to memorize. Once the material is sorted into topics, set aside a bit of time each day where your child memorizes each section.

Have your Child Practice In Front of Your Family

The key to mastering anything is practice. The more your child presents in front of people, the better at it he or she will get.

Help your child practice speaking to an audience by having your child present at home. The benefit is he or she will be able to iron out any kinks in the material and get more comfortable speaking in front of others. Your family will also be able to offer their support (and any tips for improvement).

Bring Your Child To His or Her Classroom After-Hours to Practice

All year, your child has been sitting at a desk amongst other classmates listening to the teacher speak at the front of the room. Once your child has to go up to the front of the class to present, he or she may panic because it feels completely new and unnatural.

Help your child become more comfortable at the front of the class by bringing him or her to the classroom after hours to practice. If it isn’t possible to gain access to your child’s classroom, set up a mock classroom at home for your child to practice.

Practice Breathing and Speaking Clearly

A common mistake students make when presenting is speaking too fast. They get nervous and want to finish the presentation as soon as possible, so they speak quickly. This doesn’t allow the presenter to breathe properly and makes it harder for the audience to understand what is being said.

Help your child practice taking deep breaths when speaking, and even pausing to drink water if he or she needs to catch his or her breath.

The Morning Of The Presentation

Help Him or Her Pick Out A Polished Outfit

If your child is in need of a little extra confidence the day of the presentation, help put together a polished outfit that looks professional. Having your child look in the mirror and see a young professional can give your child the boost of confidence he or she needs to speak to the class.

Your child’s teacher will also appreciate the outfit because it shows your child is taking the assignment seriously.

Make Your Child A Hearty Breakfast

The feelings you get when you are hungry—disorientation and lightheadedness—mimic some of the symptoms of high levels of anxiety. You don’t want your child thinking he or she is panicking before when really, it’s just hunger. Having a hearty breakfast in the morning will eliminate this risk and give your child the energy needed to remain focused and calm.

Help Reduce Your Child’s Anxiety

Unless your child enjoys public speaking, he or she is going to be nervous heading to school on the morning of his or her presentation. Show your child as much support and love as you can and remind him or her to breathe.

As a parent, you know the best ways to help your child calm down. Take a few minutes in the morning to help relieve the anxiety he or she is having.

Presenting With Confidence Starts With Preparation

Children are more relaxed presenting when they are confident in the material they are speaking about. With these tips, your child can boost his or her confidence and become a more successful public speaker.

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