Stage fright has been the stuff of nightmares for a long time. But talking in front of a crowd shouldn’t leave your child feeling like there is a tiger in the room. By gathering a toolbox of public speaking strategies, you can empower your child to speak with confidence and ease. Read this pocket guide to public speaking. This guide tells us how to help your child combat the fear of speaking in front of others.
How To Overcome Stage Fright
Practice public speaking
The best way to reduce stage fright is good preparation. Knowing their material well, will free your child’s performance and help them to focus on delivery. Practicing in front of a mirror may be the first step. Also, by introducing a small audience of family or friends. Besides, practicing for a group is the best way for your child to become familiar with speaking for an audience.
Be encouraging to your child, no matter what their level of speaking ability. Your active involvement and interest will model your self-talk. It is not only a matter of praising and commendation for hard work and effort. In addition, just showing your investment in what they create, will act as a strong motivator for your child. It will also help to overcome his or her fear on stage.
Watch and learn
Initially, even speaking in front of a family and friends may trigger public speaking anxiety. To help a child overcome this reaction, take some time to watch inspirational movies. Also, read stories that revolve around public speakers overcoming their fears. Providing positive examples may not only give a point of reference but also inspire your child and get them excited.
Create a positive feedback loop
Stuttering, clammy hands, butterflies in your stomach – all of these are common symptoms of stage fright. However, we can flip this system and use it to our advantage. Encourage your child to practice good posture, deep breathing, emphatic hand gestures, facial expression, and volume, as a way of releasing this pent-up energy productively.
Promote daily habits
In his renowned book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything, BJ Fogg advises, “If you want to create long-term change, it’s best to start small”. He suggests taking a behavior you want, make it tiny, find where it fits naturally in your life, and nurture its growth. Moreover, instead of waiting until the week before an event, encourage your child to express his/her opinion, thoughts, and feelings to yourself and others as often as possible.
Imagination is one of the most powerful tools. As anyone who has had a nightmare about stage fright, unfortunately, can relate to. But using our mind’s eye to rehearse a great performance is an effective way to prepare for the real thing. Helping a child to visualize and imagine they successfully speaking in public is a fun way to motivate. In addition, help your child by generating positive feelings about an event.
Along with visualization techniques, the use of affirmations – repeating phrases to ourselves out loud or silently – is a proven method of self-improvement. By challenging negative or unhelpful thoughts, the use of phrases such as, ‘I have so much to say, and can’t wait to say it,’ or simply, ‘I can do this,’ can combat fear and strengthen confidence.
Breathing exercises, laughter, meditations, checking out a room on arrival are a few ways your child can ease their pre-performance nerves. Besides, realizing that nervousness is not a bad thing is also important and can help a child to redirect nervous energy and focus on nailing their introduction.
Consider public speaking lessons
Public speaking is just as much a learnable skill as music performance or dance. To learn the ins and outs of articulation, tone, body language, and the full array of public speaking skills, regular lessons are imperative and will do wonders for your child’s confidence and ability.
Find quality coaching
One-to-one coaching in public speaking is an excellent way to build your child’s public speaking ability. The dynamic relationship and instant feedback that coaching promotes will quickly acclimatize your child to speaking in front of others and build essential skills to turn stage fright into a winning performance.
If you put into practice a few of these tools and work together as a squad, you will see your child’s confidence incrementally grow and fear slip to manageable levels. Therefore, overcoming the grip of stage fright is possible, allowing any child to get the best of their stress-triggered reactions, easily bounce back from mistakes, and successfully achieve consistent and successful public speaking.