The importance of Public Speaking for kids

As Toastmaster I really think that public speaking and effective communication is very important. Learning how to become an effective public speaker can be the key difference between success and failure in your life at home, at work and in your own community!As an adult if you still have the fear of speaking in front of people, then you need to make sure your child does not have this fear. Equip your child with life skills to be able to stand up and speak with confidence, poise and skill. Once they have developed this skill, it will stay with them for the rest of their life. Remember effective communication skills means you can impress your boss, make more sales, deliver a great speech, move up in your company and the world opens up to you when you can get your point across on your feet.Parents continue to make the biggest mistake of focusing on developing only the academics, and spending tons of monies on other hobbies like playing the piano, singing, dancing, and karate; yet never realize how critical building confidence, developing communication and effective public speaking skills are to a child. Of course academics and all these other extracurricular activities are important but if you think public speaking is important only in obscure or abstract ways, it’s time to think again.There are several reasons why public speaking is so critical and why it is so important to equip and train your child to be an effective communicator and public speaker.

  • By learning how to effectively speak in public, you’ll be able to increase your own self-confidence. Since public speaking is one of the most prevalent fears in the western world, by enabling yourself to master this difficult skill you’ll have the confidence that you need to meet and greet future challenges.
  • Public speaking regularly (and well) helps to make you more comfortable around other people, including strangers. Once you’re capable of greeting and instructing an entire room full of strangers (or at least most of them strangers), it’ll be nothing to smile and shake hands and meet new individuals in more personal and less threatening circumstances.
  • Public speaking will help fine-tune your everyday verbal and non-verbal communication skills. This is especially true for people who spend a great deal of time working with the written word, and have forgotten how to properly vocalize their messages to get their points across best.
  • For obvious reasons, the ability to dive into public speaking and related communication skills are a big WINNER among prospective employers, and are also a great way to snag that promotion you’ve been awaiting for such a long time. Public speaking ability is a true career booster. In fact, both undergraduate and graduate Business school alumni who attended the University placed oral communication at the top of a list of skills that were relevant to overall job success.
  • Using public speaking effectively will allow you to make a difference in your business, community and perhaps even the world. By sharing your information with others, you’re better able to increase the impact of your hopes, dreams, desires and goals for your life and the world around you.
  • Because by the time you’ve learned to embody the importance of public speaking, you’ll have learned another key principle. We can better persuade people when we are able to appeal to them as human beings that have emotions, desires and thoughts just like we do. This is the difference between distinguishing between simple an audience of bosses, employees or clients and transforming them in your mind into people with real problems, hopes, fears, dreams and desires.
  • The skills you’ll develop by learning the art of public speaking can boost your performance and value in just about any arena – home, office or life at large.
  • Learning to master public speaking early is a great way for students to perform better in college, as well as offer them greater opportunities to be accepted into their top choice schools.

As a mother I can’t waiting for a Toastmasters opened to kids!

 

Youth Leadership Program

Think of the successful leaders you know. They probably have one trait in common – the ability to communicate effectively.

Kids need the Youth Leadership program so they can grow to meet the challenges of adulthood and leadership successfully. Sponsored and conducted by Toastmasters International and its local clubs, Youth Leadership helps young people build their communication and LEADERSHIP SKILLS so they may become tomorrow’s leaders in business, industry and the community.

Purpose of the Program
Every young person has the potential to become a good communicator and leader, but this potential needs to be developed. The program’s unique eight-session, workshop-style design enables participants to develop this potential through practical experience.

The program is not in competition with school programs or courses, or other established youth projects. Instead, it’s a supplement to these programs, providing emphasis on specialized speaking and LEADERSHIP SKILLS, and individual needs. Participants learn to:

  • Overcome nervousness when speaking before an audience.
  • Organize and present ideas logically and convincingly.
  • Listen carefully to others’ ideas.
  • Offer advice to help others improve their speaking andLEADERSHIP SKILLS.
  • Participate in – and even lead – group discussion or meetings.

Participants increase their self-confidence as they learn. They also make new friends and have fun. Toastmasters is an enjoyable learning experience!

The Participants
Each Youth Leadership program group is limited to 15 to 20 people, with a maximum of 25. That way, each person receives individual attention and has the opportunity to get practical experience. Participants for the program are selected by the sponsoring Toastmasters club or by a cooperating organization (such as their school). The program is not an award to honor those who already have become leaders. It’s designed for the much larger group who are still working on communication skills. Participants are selected for what they can become, not for what they already have done. Often teenagers want the course as a supplement to their high school education, or to prepare for college.

The Sponsors
A local Toastmasters club serves as sponsor and provides the experienced leaders needed to present the program. These adults are patient and understanding; they remember their own struggles with youthful issues and work well with kids as a result.

The adult with overall responsibility for the program is the coordinator. He or she works closely with any cooperating organization and attends each meeting, conducting most of the training and counseling participants. The coordinator has an assistant who conducts discussions and substitutes for the coordinator, should he or she be unable to attend a meeting.

How it Works
The program is presented in eight sessions during or after school, or on weekends. Each session usually lasts one to two hours. Activities taking place in the sessions include the following:

  • Evaluation of present speaking ability
  • Discussion of chairmanship principles
  • Presentation of speeches
  • Impromptu talks
  • Group evaluation
  • Discussion of speech organization
  • Discussion and practice in listening
  • Discussion of gestures in speaking
  • Discussion of voice and vocabulary
  • Exercise in chairmanship

There is usually no cost to participants for tuition or materials. The materials used in the program are produced by Toastmasters International and are provided by the sponsoring Toastmasters club, which orders them from Toastmasters World Headquarters for a small fee.

Generally, meetings follow a format similar to that of a Toastmasters club meeting. There is an announced agenda and participants learn and practice parliamentary procedure during each meeting. Lecturing is minimal, but discussion is held during each session. Participants, working from a handbook, select officers who preside over the meetings. The remaining class members are assigned other duties on a rotating basis, so everyone is actively involved. Participants also deliver short impromptu and prepared speeches. In every meeting, participants learn to apply the principles of listening, thinking and speaking.

How to Start a Program
Youth Leadership may be conducted for scout troops, 4-H clubs, church youth groups and many other organizations, and for young people in the community. However, all programs must be presented by a Toastmasters club, following the guidelines in the Youth Leadership Coordinator’s Guide (Item 802). Clubs may order coordinator’s guides and Youth Leadership Participant’s Notebooks (Item 805) from World Headquarters.

E-mail membership@toastmasters.org to learn more about the Youth Leadership program.

Clubs conduct the program on a voluntary basis. Find a nearby club that may want to conduct a program for your organization.

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