The one easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now — at least — is to hone your communication skills — both written and verbal ~ Warren Buffett.

Do you know that with the new PSLE Chinese syllabus, the Oral component carries a greater weightage in the national exam as compared to composition writing? Or that most children from Primary 1 are required to do “Show and Tell” in class as part of their holistic assessments? Importantly, that good presentation skills also help to set your child apart from others during his/her DSA interviews. Hence, presentation and public speaking skills are important life skills at various stages in life and are certainly skills will take benefit your child in the long run.

Hence, presentation and public speaking skills are important life skills at various stages in life and are certainly skills will take benefit your child in the long run. Legendary investor and billionaire Warren Buffett has a tip for young people: Focus on learning how to write and speak clearly. We could not agree more! Communication skills define a leader as to whether he can convince and pull the crowds along in his direction. So, the key question is, can we train people, or are people born with it?

At Melodious Cove and as professionals working with children, we believe that while those who are born with the gift of gab would flourish with little polishing, for others, there are ways where these communication skills could be learnt, and where practice makes perfect. Hence this sparked off a collaboration with a public speaking partner to offer a programme aimed at supporting our children in developing those skills.

This programme is contrived from working with a team of passionate educators: speech therapists, drama enthusiasts, art educators, public speakers, etc. Our partner has created a framework to address Bodyworks, Voiceworks and Speechworks to build confidence in young children to address a crowd.

With this expert team supporting our children, we put them to the “test” by asking what can parents do to encourage their young in speaking up more confidently?

Here are 3 quick tips!

1) Be there for them when they are making the first speech, stand up for ovations!

Parental support is key in maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship. When you are there for your child’s first speech, it helps boost their confidence as they see a familiar and loving face in the crowd.

2) Never give negative remarks on their first attempts, positive reinforcement works better!

Positivity goes a long way in helping a child maintain a healthy mindset towards their self-image and in tackling any new challenges. Practice with your child, especially when they are shy, or they are very young. If there are areas for improvement, always highlight the positive effort first. For e.g. “I love how you maintained eye contact earlier, I felt like you were speaking purposefully to me. It would also be great if you can speak a bit louder so that the audience in the back row can not only see you but hear you too.”

3) Help them to organize the flow of the presentation

To start, it is good to smile, listen attentively and nod encouragingly. Being able to plan a speech in a logical flow requires much practice and patience. Some children do take a longer time in grouping their thoughts as they tend to want to elaborate on too many ideas. You can start by getting them to draw / write down in point form the various points they wish to make and how those points can be linked by drawing arrows to connect those points. With a visual representation, it is then easier for children to “connect the dots” and for you to share that the sequence or flow can be changed or that certain words can be replaced.

Good luck for your children’s upcoming Oral examinations and put these tips to practice and watch them flourish!