Parenting

Tips for primary and middle school students to improve their public speaking skills

To make their child confident and good speaker of English language’ is at the top of the wish-list of parents, when their child is admitted to The City School.

One of the fundamental duties of a good school is to provide opportunities for all its students, irrespective of gender, background, mind-set, I mean, equal opportunities for all students. You know that we plan activities for students throughout the year, the main purpose is to give exposure to students to new situations and to increase their self-confidence. All our schools plan many debating and speech competitions at intra and inter-school levels. In these competitions, students discover a variety of learning experiences, including how to celebrate victory and how to accept defeat. An evaluated defeat is the stepping-stone to the next victory.

It is not easy to become a confident speaker, but if students follow the tips below, then improvement is guaranteed.

Pre-contest preparation:

  • Selection of a speech with good content
  • The speech content should be according to the allocated time
  • Practice (at home, in front of a local audience, parents, friends, even the mirror)
  • Learn it by heart and internalise – if you understand your speech, then you’ll not forget it, even if you forget, you’ll be able to substitute words or terms
  • Not a bad idea to idealise any speaker e.g. Quaid-e-Azam, Dr Zakir Naik, Martin Luther King and study them on you-tube – or you may begin to develop your own style
  • Make a video of practice session and identify the loop-holes and also take some expert opinion to improve it
  • Act upon the advice given by your teachers/parents!
  • Take care of your health, especially, your throat and voice

On-the-spot or during the contest:

  • You must be free from worries of washroom etc at least 10 minutes before the contest starts
  • Confidently appear on the stage
  • Set the mike to your requirements
  • Concentrate, pause and start
  • Make the speech in your own style
  • Make eye contact with the judges and audience,  and  be aware of your body language, and intonation
  • Touch the feelings of the judges and audience and impress them. You should be able to make the audience laugh or weep.
  • Do not fumble if you forget some word or term, use another word or term, but do not stop.
  • Gradually take your speech towards the climax

Post contest evaluation:

  • Evaluate your speech yourself and realistically see the deficiencies or problems (style, accent, pronunciation, content, intonation, delivery, time, topic etc). Video copy, if available, can help you in a better way to improve in future
  • Compare yourself with the winners
  • Do not lose heart if you did not win and realise there is always more to do even if you have won
  • Get ready for next contest and do not repeat mistakes

 

The instructions above are not exhaustive you should add or delete as you go along.

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