For many of our children, it’s the worst case scenario – suddenly having to deliver an impromptu presentation. Being asked to speak in public is a major challenge for many young leaders.
Yet these scenarios happen all the time – introducing themselves at school events, giving a speech at a graduation ceremony or being asked an unexpected question by a teacher.
Giving an extemporaneous speech can mark your child out as an excellent communicator. It’s how your child handles him or herself when he or she is least prepared that often demonstrates your child's leadership and influencing abilities.
Here are our 5 top tips to help your child perform – and present – under pressure:
1. Demonstrate powerful body language - Stand tall on both feet or sit comfortably, resist the urge to slump or fiddle, use big gestures, smile and get eye contact with your audience.
2. Focus on the audience - Every presentation, including impromptu ones, need to be audience centric. The audience will be on your side – focus on what will be useful to them.
3. Less is more - Avoid the tendency to ramble. Keep it short and to the point. Go slowly! Hurrying will increase any feelings of unease you have. Take your time. Breathe deeply. Deliver your words clearly and use pauses.
4. Have a structure - Tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you told them. Use a simple structure.
5. Talk conversationally - Imagine you are speaking to your best friend and let yourself be authentic and natural.
Whilst we can still enjoy the famous tongue-in-cheek Mark Twain quote, "it usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech", your child now knows what to do when confronted by the dreaded impromptu presentation. Now all your child has to do is practice on the edge of discomfort.
If you’d like your child to branch out and practice soft skills in real life, sign up for our virtual classes on our website. Not only will your child learn soft skills, but they’ll also learn how to be a team player, and they’ll learn about presenting online! We hope to see you on Zoom one day!