Help Your Child Overcome Public Speaking Fears

by Maryn Liles

With a little practice, your kid can conquer stage fright.

(Image Source: meredith.com)One of the most common fears is public speaking. That’s why experts recommend kids get experience early on. “Being comfortable talking to others — whether one-on-one or in front of a group — will allow kids to better convey information, appear more well mannered, and make stronger social connections,” says Stacey Marshall, author of Captain Courage and the World’s Most Shocking Secret, the second in a series of children’s books on the subject. Since those benefits can last a lifetime, we have ways to help your child become braver.

Although facing an audience of classmates is not the same as facing a ferocious beast, it can feel just as scary to your child, says Marshall. Her worries about the crowd’s reaction — such as being teased by her peers or being asked a question she can’t answer — can give her butterflies, sweaty palms, and a racing heartbeat. Let her know that this fight-or-flight response is natural and that she’ll learn to overcome these anxieties with practice.

Build His Skills

To look the part, encourage your child to practice using confident body language by standing straight and tall, smiling into the mirror while speaking, and making eye contact with his “audience.” Even when he’s feeling shy, this can help bolster his own morale. Next, teach your child to project by using puppets to model the difference between speaking up and mumbling, suggests Marshall, and have your child mimic the confident one. Taking deep breaths before talking, slowing down his speaking rate, and increasing his voice volume can help too.

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See More Parenting Articles by Dr. Randy Cale at www.TerrificParenting.com

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