I was recently asked by a friend to speak to her co-op group about homeschooling through the high school years.
I am not an accomplished public speaker.
In fact, the thought of speaking in public leaves me feeling quite apprehensive.
Because I knew I didn’t want my children to have that same fear, I endeavored to expose my children early and often to public speaking
We found lots of chances for our kids to speak through 4-H, but I am sure many youth-run organizations would have the same type of options.
Here are some of the ways we encouraged our kids to gain experience speaking in public.
Meeting Participation – When they were little, we encouraged our kids to lead the pledges and second motions. This got them used to talking during the meetings. As they got older, they progressed to making motions and eventually to leading meetings.
Demonstrations – In our 4-H club, the members are encouraged to do one demonstration at a club meeting each year. The kids can choose an activity they know well and they show and explain how to do it.
As the members get older, the instructions of the demonstration can get more complex.
We also encouraged our kids to participate in our county’s demonstration competition, which sometimes allowed them to demonstrate at the state level; both of which required public speaking.
There are many other opportunities for public speaking in 4-H; some we have been involved with and others we haven’t.
I think what has helped our kids the most has simply been the repeated exposure to the process of talking in public. None of them would say they enjoy it, but they can all do it without breaking into a cold sweat.
And that is why I will be speaking later this month to a small group of homeschool moms. With repeated exposure to public speaking, I, too, might get better at it.
Here are some fun speech games you could try in a co-op setting.