I sat waiting in anticipation as my daughters name was called, I watched as she rose from her seat, as she walked up the stairs onto the middle of the stage and as she smiled as she took the microphone from her music teacher preparing to sing in front of the parents seated in the school hall. I felt the tears in my eyes and I could not stop them from pouring down my face as she sang her beautiful rendition of Katy Perrys The One That Got Away.
My heart swelled with pride, I knew how nervous she had felt prior to the concert, yet there she was singing her heart out to a room full of strangers. The standing ovation concluded how well she performed.
I know how it feels to be centre stage, feel your heart beating almost out of your chest, feel your throat dry up and hear how your voice alters with nerves. I have been a public speaker for the NHS trust for over two years now, I visit various events and speak about my own personal experience with the services the trust offers. It was terrifying to begin with but I was provided with support and I attended a public speaking course where I learned so many valuable tools. I only wish more people were able to attend a course of this description.
While five of my children are pretty confident my 6-year-old detests any form of public speaking. It began at the first Christmas production at his school where he was given lines to read out, he stood there frozen to the spot, looking terrified. My heart broke for him as he stood, alone on stage crying. I wanted to run to him, wrap him up in my arms and scream at the teacher who suggested this part for him. But I knew I couldn’t. The teacher did thankfully escort him from the stage.
I now dread any school production. Kaiden is confident to practise his lines at home and in the classroom and comes across as confident, that is until he is in front of parents in the school hall. He was not prepared for the fear of looking out into the audience. It was too much for him. He now refuses to take part.
I do wish we had a local public speaking course where children could attend as I know this would benefit all of our local children. Not only does it allow them to grow with confidence but it’s a great self-esteem builder. Let’s face it we are all well adjusted to emailing, texting and Tweeting our friends, my own teenagers are happy to speak to others on social media, but what happens when your face to face with people?
I believe all children should be prepared and taught from an early age how to confidently speak out. They can benefit from so many of these tools that they can use in their present life and in future years. How many of us are unhappy at work yet would be afraid to approach our boss? How many of us are passionate about a cause yet afraid to become a motivational speaker?
But the good news is these courses are available and if you’re lucky enough to live close to the Embodied Minds course venue then I highly recommend you checking it out. Why would you not want to encourage your child to become the next world leader, president or CEO?
Embodied Minds is a creative public speaking company led by two licensed therapists and business professionals.
Would your child benefit from a public speaking course?
Is your own child confident on stage?
Are you able to speak in public confidently?
Did you enjoy taking part in school productions?