When Kids Present to the Public
Our public speaking students gave their first public presentation a few weeks ago and it was a huge success. It didn’t happen on it’s own though- the kids had a lot of preparation to do before dazzling the public.
Head Start’s students had been practicing their speaking weekly since October so they’d had quite a bit of practice. They practiced both impromptu (off-the-cuff) speaking and giving prepared speeches, as well as learning how to evaluate each other.
From October to January, everyone crafted 2-4 speeches and chose their favourite to give on Presentation Night. The kids practiced their favourites several times in class, making changes to the speeches as they went along. They heard feedback from their peers and from the coach and were able to see their speeches on video as they evolved. They also practiced many many times at home.
Some of the kids had to drastically edit their speeches, some had to add to their speeches, and some had to learn how to ramp up their energy. Everyone had a different challenge. Having several opportunities to re-do their speeches in class BEFORE the big performance gave the kids valuable perspective. It became obvious that repetition and feedback can really prepare you and can make all the difference in giving a public presentation.
The Big Moment
When it was time to present, it was time for all that preparation to kick in.
Now preparation is one thing, but having to stand in front of a crowd and deliver is a different animal entirely. A few of the kids were nervous before they went on, so I took them in a hallway and we did a few deep breathing exercises and a few power poses to loosen up the body and lighten up the mood. Power poses are always good for a laugh.
The kids had dressed up so they felt good in that respect and they knew that had prepared and that the audience was there to support them.
There were a few small stumbles, but everyone used the tools they had been given to sail through their first public presentation and did a stellar job. They were all able to watch their presentations on video later as well.
What’s the Verdict?
What did the kids of Head Start Public Speaking For Kids take from this experience?
We’ll talk about that in our next blog post and get the kids’ perspective themselves!
As for me, I was so proud as their head coach, I thought I would burst out crying. I knew how much effort they had put into their works and it gave me such immense satisfaction to see them walk into their skills and their confidence.
It’s truly remarkable to watch someone grow before your very eyes. It’s miraculous when you get to be a part of it. 🙂