A study of shyness and social phobia in American youths found that a little over 46 per cent of adolescents consider themselves to be shy. While this does not translate to a diagnosis of a more serious social phobia, it still isn’t fun. School, after all, often requires reading aloud, making presentations, and otherwise interacting with peers and teachers – things that can be difficult for shy students. What’s more, as interpersonal skills are also highly prized by employers, retaining shyness through adolescence and into adulthood could also lead to professional difficulties later on.
Fortunately, there is a potential solution to this problem: public speaking classes. Though public speaking may seem like a bad fit for shy students, the skills acquired in this kind of class can really go a long way toward improving overall confidence both in the classroom and out.
Want to learn a little more? Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of public speaking classes for shy students.
According to a report by John Malouff, Ph.D., J.D., of the University of New England School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, shyness has a number of causes, including genetics, teasing, poor social skills, and more. The report states that it’s something that can be overcome, though, by prompting the child to interact with others, measuring progress towards lessened shyness, and rewarding them for participating in social interactions.
The key to beating shyness, then, is learning how to confront the discomfort instead of running away from it. Given that interpersonal interactions and personal presentations are a virtual guarantee for all young scholars growing up, avoiding uncomfortable situations isn’t really an option, anyway. Instead, shy individuals really will be best served by preparing themselves to become better at managing stressful situations.
Around the world, there is probably no series of public speeches more famous than TED Talks. These glamorous events invite elite thinkers from science, technology, philosophy, and many other areas to share their knowledge and wisdom with the entire world. Speakers in TED Talks normally seem confident, speak powerfully, and have an eerie ability to capture the attention of their audience. Though some are naturally gifted speakers, many are quite shy. What allows them to give such fascinating presentations? The huge amount of preparation that they put into them.
From scripting out their speeches, to countless hours practicing, to rehearsals before the actual event, there are many steps that are completed by presenters before they give their talk. Through this preparation, the speakers become more familiar with their material, more comfortable speaking, and confident in their ability to deliver a powerful message. Classes in public speaking for kids usually take a similar approach, helping shy young scholars discover the secrets to preparing themselves in advance, so that they are ready to speak confidently when the time comes.
If your child has difficulty with presentations or interactions, they can benefit greatly from completing public speaking and presentation skills training in the A+ program. This class provides a safe, welcoming environment that not only helps students become highly effective speakers, but also to learn important fundamental social skills that can help them in their everyday interactions.
From learning about how to maintain appropriate eye contact, to articulating their thoughts clearly, and beyond, this from-the-ground-up approach helps ensure that even the shyest students can leave with greater confidence interacting with others. Other skills, like how to write effectively for speeches, how to engage an audience, and how to prepare for presentations in advance, offer even more benefits for shy students. By the end of their time in the class, they will likely be much more capable of communicating their thoughts, and even debating with others, throughout their academic and professional life.
Do you want to help your child discover a greater level of confidence?
Contact ASC A+ to learn about our public speaking classes for kids!