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November 11th, 2010

Afraid of Giving School Presentations: Three Steps to Help Kids with Public Speaking Anxiety

Anxiety about public speaking can start in the early grades and last through the middle and high school years and beyond. Just the thought of standing in front of a class and giving a presentation can trigger anxiety in children. Sweaty palms, pounding heartbeat, fear of embarrassment, and loss of focus are only some of the signs related to fear of school presentations.

Parents and concerned adults can help. Step 1 is to encourage the child to research the topic thoroughly and prepare a good report. Step 2 is to practice, and do lots of it. Not everyone is a natural speaker, and it can take a long time for a child to acquire public speaking skills. The child can practice alone, in front of a mirror, or give the presentation to family members. Technology can help too, and the child may benefit from recording the presentation as a means of practice.

Sometimes preparation and practice are not enough to calm the nerves of kids and teens who worry about an upcoming oral report. There are two sets of emotional
skills that can come to the rescue – reducing anxiety and building self-confidence. That’s step 3.

Anti-anxiety activities and children’s self-esteem boosting strategies can be learned. Tool Kits for Kids provides powerful, award-winning solutions to help kids. The Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for KidsĀ® quickly shows young people in grades K-12 how to stop fears from escalating, relax their minds and bodies,stop what if thinking, and prevent anxious thoughts from taking over. The Charge Up Your ConfidenceĀ® Tool Kit helps young people handle mistakes, deal with criticism from others, stop their own negative thoughts, and focus on their positive attributes.

Remember theses three steps to help your child face his or her next oral report and the many other school presentations to come. Step 1 is preparation. Step 2 is practice. Step 3 is the Tool Kit solution to help manage fear and build self confidence.