How to help your child write a speech (without doing it for them)

It’s hard for parents to help kids with homework without doing it for them. Figuring out where to start can be especially difficult when your child is preparing a speech for school.

You may find that your child puts off starting a speech more than other homework. This could be because they worry about it.

Having something to say to their class can help build your child’s confidence and motivation when giving the speech. A positive speaking experience can boost confidence for the next time, which is why some schools teach public speaking systematically.

It’s important to remember that public speaking consists of two parts: writing the speech and delivering it.

Here are some tips to help your child with both aspects of preparation.

Having something to say to their class can help build your child’s confidence and motivation when giving the speech.

Read more: What’s the point of homework?

write speech

First, help your child find something they want to say to their audience.

When a child makes a speech in front of the class, peers listen, watch, and watch. Most of the other class work is only read by the teacher. In a speech, they share their ideas with the whole class.

So it’s really important that they stand by what they say and say it in their own words.

What is decisive is that they own the topic (if the topic is freely chosen) or the attitude that they adopt (if the topic is specified by the teacher).

As a parent, it’s difficult to help your child find their own words – but it’s very important that you don’t write the speech for them.

Help them think about what is important to them and what they think is important to share with their class.

Aside from the fact that the teacher will spot a speech written by the parent a mile away, if your child doesn’t have ownership of their speech, they won’t bother conveying the ideas to the class.

Next, help your child think about organizing their ideas.

It’s good to have a hook or a catchy introduction to the main idea of ​​the speech. It can be a rhetorical question, an anecdote, or an amazing fact. Then they can come up with about three main points on the topic.

Ask your child questions that will help them think of some examples or evidence that support their ideas.

Finally, help them finish their speech. Often the ending returns to the beginning to round out the point – a kind of “I told you so” sort of thing!

It’s really important that the child owns what they say and says it in their own words.

Giving a speech – 4 tips for parents

1. Encourage your child to focus on getting their idea across to the audience.

If they focus on sharing their ideas instead of worrying about themselves, everything will fall into place. Encourage them to think about looking at the audience and making sure everyone can hear them.

2. Practice speed of speech and timing of your speech.

One of the easiest things to practice that makes a huge difference in presenting speech is pacing.

The big tip is to slow down. When speakers are nervous, they tend to speed up, sometimes just a little – but often students deliver their speeches at breakneck speed and rush off to finish them so they can sit down.

I’ve heard thousands of student speeches and never heard one delivered too slowly. But I’ve heard many that sound like a horse racing call.

3. Be an approving audience for their speech.

Listen to your child practice when they’re willing to share something with you, but don’t push them when they resist.

Focus on building their confidence by talking to them about the moments when you felt them connect with you as a viewer. Be grateful for their jokes or show that you share their feelings about ideas that are important to them.

Your children are looking for your approval – don’t be stingy with it.

4. When they feel confident, suggest they work on nuanced their presentation.

Once the child feels comfortable delivering the speech, the child can add variety and texture.

For example, they might slow down to emphasize certain words, pause after asking a question, or think about moments when they could speak softer or louder.

Variations will add interest to the speech presentation and help attract and hold the audience’s attention. It also helps to convey your child’s ideas further.

It’s difficult to find the right balance when you’re helping your child prepare their speech.

Good support takes time

It’s difficult to find the right balance when you’re helping your child prepare their speech. The trick is to understand that it takes more than one session.

So set aside a few blocks of time and work on building their ideas and enthusiasm.

Read more: Should parents help their kids with their homework?

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