Helping students to be effective public speakers.

What is public speaking? Basically, it’s a presentation that’s given live before an audience. Public speeches can cover a wide variety of different topics. The goal of the speech may be to educate, entertain, or influence the listeners.

Because speaking in public is done before a live audience, we need to consider some special factors. If you ask most people, they’ll probably say they don’t like public speech. They may even admit to being afraid of it since fear of public speaking is a very common fear. Or they may just be shy or introverted. For those reasons, many people avoid speaking in public if they can.

Lack of confidence is the most common reason of fear of public speaking because many students have a meek nature and they tend to feel uncomfortable while speaking in front of others. … The teachers play a vital role in giving support and confidence to the students and can help them overcome public speaking anxiety.

Over the years, public speaking in communication has played a major role in education, government, and business. Words have the power to inform, persuade, educate, and even entertain. And the spoken word can be even more powerful than the written word in the hands of the right speaker.

Students will benefit from improving their public speaking skills. Some benefits to speaking in public include: improves confidence, better research skills, stronger deductive skills, ability to advocate for causes.  Speaking in public is especially important for students to get their message in front of potential audience.  Speaking in public is a skill. While some people may have more natural speaking ability than others, anyone can learn to be a better public speaker. It just takes some know-how and some effort.

To help students become better at giving public speeches, there are strategies that we can use for students to overcome anxiety and enhance their public speaking skills.

  1. Write it out – Create an outline of the speech to organize the content.
    Practice – Even great speakers practice their speeches.  Practice out loud with a recording device or video camera and then watch yourself to see how you can improve. Students can even practice in front of the mirror or friend or a family member for their feedback.
  2. Content / Topic – Your passion for the topic is very important.  It should be felt by the audience.  Choose a topic that you know a lot about.
    Main message – Concentrate on the main message you want to communicate through your speech, this will help you to be focused.
  3. Grab the attention – Start with an interesting fact or story that relates to your topic.
    Tell the stories – Stories catch the attention of audience and deliver a message in a more interesting and meaningful way than facts and figures.  Whenever possible, use a story to illustrate your point.
  4. Volunteer – Teach students to volunteer to speak in front of the class as often as possible. Let them raise their hand when a question is asked, this will help grow their confidence with every public speaking experience.
    Observe other speakers – Teacher can show different videos of other speakers.  This will help students to organise their speech with proper flow. 
  5.  Help students to share their anxieties and release their tension.  Teacher can help by guiding or counselling the student and make it easier to overcome stage fright.
    Teacher can help student to develop his or her own style.  It will surely help students to integrate their own personality into their speaking style and make them feel more comfortable and confident.
  6. Train students to vary their tone, volume and speed.  Teachers can guide students to vary the pitch, volume and speed of their words.  This way audience will be engaged and interested throughout.
    Teachers can guide students to add humour in their speech and smile.  This will give the warmth and relaxation to both.

Teachers can work on students’ soft skills.  Give them opportunities and platforms where they can have their thoughts organised and expressed in a right way.  Teachers play an ultimate role in making students impressive public speaker.

 

Roopali Kardile

Vice Principal –
Radcliffe School, Pune

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