Being shy as a child can be especially hard, for both child and parent. And sometimes those school projects creep up and they’re going to have to inevitably speak in front of their peers. Here are some tips to help your child gain confidence so speaking in front of the class may not be so intimidating or frightening.
It sounds simple enough, but it can help your child a great deal. Knowing what they’re going to say ahead of time makes the whole process a lot less scary and will help them become sure of themselves. About a week or more before their presentation, have them write or draw exactly what they’re going to say, or close to it. Have them practice every night, just for a few minutes.
Rehearse presentation in front of others
Have your child practice speaking to you or your spouse. If that works, gradually spread out to wider audiences, such as both parents and siblings. Even practicing in front of their stuffed animals will help. If they’re still unsure, remind them to imagine their family being right there in the classroom while they speak.
The day before the presentation, you and your child can pick out clothes together. Let them decide what they want to wear. Make sure it’s something they feel comfortable and good in. If you want, let your child pick out something special or unique to wear, such as a favorite necklace or sticker. It can even be something they’re usually not allowed to wear, such as Mommy’s pearls or nail polish. This will help them to feel important and ready for their presentation.
Make sure your child knows the difference between truth and superstition, but if it helps them, give them something special to hold in their pocket like a stone. Remind them that they have the tools to do this presentation on their own, but if they need a reminder, have them bring a special item to carry that will help them remember to be brave.
If the child is still very shy and scared, talk to their teacher. Ask if you or another family member could possibly be in the classroom while the child presents their project, just for extra support. If the child is still unsure, talk to the teacher about possibly another way for the child to earn a grade besides an oral presentation. Suggest an essay, a drawing, or even a sculpted project. If your son or daughter ends up not presenting, it’s still a good idea to use some of these tips to practice their confidence.