Finding Voice Through Video; A Child’s Public Speaking Journey
When faced with speaking in front of peers, children (and adults) are often either eager to share their thoughts or anxious to perform the task. Because public speaking anxiety often starts with shyness as a child and it can impact their future, it is important for parents and teachers to address this challenge at an early age.
The fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, is one of the most common fears in the world. At any given time, 5% of the world’s population (ages 5-50 years old) suffer from the fear of speaking openly to others. This fear can come from shyness or from not receiving encouragement to speak on a consistent basis. According to speech coach Merri Bame, though the fear of public speaking is common, it can inhibit success if left unchecked. That is why it is critical for students to feel comfortable when speaking out loud in a classroom to their peers and instructors. Through encouragement and opportunities to practice, the fear of public speaking can be overcome, giving the child a valuable skill they can use to make a better future for themselves.
FasTracKids recognizes the importance of providing a platform for students to develop their communication and public speaking skills. Our annual Voices of FasTracKids speech contest encourages students to research, write and perform speeches in their native or second language while in front of a camera and their peers. The contest, which lasts through March, is always a highly anticipated event and everyone is eager to share the contestant’s speeches with the world. With practice that builds confidence at a young age, public speaking doesn’t have to be frightening. Here are some amazing student speeches from last year’s contest.