The fear of public speaking often has its origins in the early years of school life. For this reason, it is essential to encourage students to do this from an early age, so that, when they reach adulthood, presentations stop being a fear and become something natural and fun.
On occasion, teachers struggle with how to inspire their pupils to speak in front of an audience. To help them with this more than essential task, we have put together 5 tips from educators. Check out!
1. Promote improvisation games and activities
The fear of speaking in public is linked to numerous factors, such as shyness, low self-esteem and fear of other people’s judgment. Before talking about public speaking techniques, it is necessary to help students get rid of all these obstacles.
A good way to help them with this is through educational games and improvisation activities. Public presentations, such as a work exhibition, for example, are generally marked by a more serious tone, in which the student feels obliged to do well.
On the other hand, group games and activities have a less formal character, as they sound like recreation. By feeling more relaxed, without the need to pass any question, students end up loosening up and losing their fear of speaking in front of the class or a group of students.
Little by little, with activities like this, students become accustomed to being in a prominent position in front of others and lose their fear of judgment and exposure.
2. Respect each student’s time
If you are a teacher, you know that, even though classes are made up of students of the same age group, each student has their own particularities, affinities and fears. For some, speaking in public is, from an early age, something enjoyable.
It’s not difficult to see which students are afraid of speaking in public. When you identify this in a student or group of students, try to respect their fears, making them as comfortable as possible.
It is important to treat them in the same way as others, but, through some simple details, you, as a teacher, can help them overcome their fear of public speaking. For example, in work presentations, change the organization of desks. Instead of having groups stand up and speak in front of everyone, put students in circles, in a kind of round table. This way, students will speak to others, but without necessarily standing up. Gradually, modify the structure of the presentations until everyone feels comfortable speaking in front of the class.
3. Propose relaxation exercises before presentations
On the day scheduled for students to make work presentations, propose relaxation activities at the beginning of class. It’s worth investing in simple breathing exercises, quick games or even some physical activity, such as running around the sports court.
Some group dynamics can also help relieve students’ tension, as most exercises of this type promote interaction between participants, in a light, funny and very informal way. This way, when it’s time to “be serious”, young people will no longer be afraid to face their colleagues.
4. Look for videos and materials that can inspire students
Whatever the age of your students, the rule that it is more effective to show than simply tell is quite correct. You can try to encourage your class to speak in public by highlighting the importance of this skill in the job market and in their personal lives. This is essential, but it is not enough to spark the necessary interest in them.
In addition to just talking about the reasons that make public speaking so important, it is recommended to take support materials, such as videos of great communicators, for example. If you have doubts about where to find great speeches and presentations, a good idea is to look for them on the TEDx platform. The guests, in addition to being well-known people, are excellent speakers and great at inspiring people.
5. Set an example!
Classes are a type of public presentation, teacher. Therefore, before wanting to awaken your students’ interest in public speaking, think about how you behave in front of the class.
If your presentations are interesting and varied, if you know how to use your voice and can gesture, maintaining eye contact and good facial expression, you will certainly be a source of inspiration for your students to become interested in public speaking.
If, on the contrary, you yourself feel nervous when you are in front of the class, your example will not be very inspiring. So start innovating your classes. This way, it won’t be difficult to encourage your students to speak in public!
The teacher is a great mentor for students. Therefore, do not underestimate the importance of oratory in the lives of your students, giving this skill the same emphasis as you give to the content of the subjects!