The ability to give a good speech is evolving. Gone are the days of authoritarian based command. The new age of leadership involves the ability to inspire groups, develop relationships and lead with strength, authenticity and compassion.
The requirement for children to articulate ideas and present them in a group situation begins at an early age. It is important that they get off on the right foot so they can become comfortable at public speaking later in life.
According to Lantern League, a global network of public speaking clubs for kids, there are 3 common faults in the way the western world views pubic speaking:
Myth 1. Public Speaking is a mere skill
Unfortunately learning skills such as voice projection, eye contact and body language do not make you a good public speaker. The truth is that public speaking is 80% psychology and only 20% skill. To truly reach an audience it takes self-belief, confidence in your message and the willingness to be yourself in the presence of others.
Myth 2. Practice makes perfect
Whilst practice does substantially improve your abilities, it does not always make your nerves go away. You also need to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. One great way to deal with feelings of nervousness is to turn them into excitement. Both nervousness and excitement have the same physiological outcomes, it just depends on which one you choose to focus on.
Myth 3. Speaking Competitions encourage growth
Voluntary public speaking competitions can be great at sharpening a child’s presentation skills. However some schools are starting to make these competitions compulsory. For the beginner, this can have devastating effects. Being judged can have long lasting impacts on a child’s sense of identity which is still in the developmental phase. Schools need to come up with a softer and more powerful approach.
This is where Yellow Lantern comes in to save the day. It’s an 8 week school program where students are tutored by kind and professional coaches to overcome the vice of perfectionism, to accept who they are and to build their voice. Kids can also join a non-competitive speaking club called Lantern League where young members are heard, recognized and celebrated for being the best version of themselves. The atmosphere is gloriously supportive with tones of activities to help kids master the soft skills in public speaking and chose excitement over nervousness every time they speak.