How Public Speaking & Debating Courses Can Benefit Your Child
20 October 2022
When it comes to helping our kids succeed in school and in life, we as parents will go to great lengths. We want them to have every opportunity to build the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. Often, we invest in extracurricular activities like sports and music lessons to give them a well-rounded education.
But have you ever considered enrolling your child in a public speaking or debating course?
While it may not seem like an obvious choice, these courses can actually offer several benefits for your child. From developing confidence and communication skills to learning how to think on their feet and problem solve, debating and public speaking courses can give your kid a leg up both academically and in their future career.
Here are just a few of the ways in which these courses can benefit your child.
Confidence & Communication Skills
One of the most natural benefits of enrolling your child in debating or public speaking classes is that it will help them to build confidence and communication skills.
Being able to stand up in front of a group of people and speak clearly and confidently is a skill that will serve kids well both academically and professionally. In today’s increasingly digital world, good communication and presentation skills are more critical than ever. Helping your kid build these public speaking skills early on will give them a significant advantage both in their classes now, as well as in whatever future career they may have.
But how do structured public speaking programs (such as those offered by Speaking Schools Australasia) help in building confidence and communication skills?
Practice makes perfect
Firstly, simply put, public speaking classes give any student the opportunity to practice presenting a speech.
By enrolling in regular school holiday workshops or weekly classes, your child will have the chance to speak in front of their peers on a regular basis, helping them build their public speaking and debating skills. This will not only help them to become more comfortable with public speaking, but it will also give them the opportunity to receive plenty of individualised feedback that they can implement in the following session, using cyclical learning patterns to teach kids how they can improve continually.
Developing an interest in topics
Secondly, in many cases, the topics covered in presentation skills programs will be of interest to kids and get their creative writing juices flowing.
Speaking Schools Australasia uses a combination of high energy and fun games with topics that students actually enjoy talking about to ensure that there is enthusiasm instilled in every class.
This means that they are likely to be more engaged and enthusiastic about participating, both in public speaking classes, and more generally when they want to speak out in life. When kids (and realistically adults) are interested in what they’re doing, they’re more likely to do well and build their self-confidence.
Finding the fun in developing presentation skills
Thirdly, kids actually begin to find that public speaking can be fun.
When done correctly, public speaking shouldn’t be about reciting memorised lines or reading from a script, such as in performing arts classes. Rather, it should be about engaging with an audience and sharing something that you’re passionate about, using your voice and body language to help convey why that’s the case.
When kids find the fun in public speaking, they’re much more likely to want to participate. This is when they really start to develop their confidence and communication skills.
How can public speaking classes help?
At Speaking Schools, we run public speaking classes that are aimed at boosting every kid’s confidence and turning them into capable communicators.
By using a combination of structured workshops, small groups and excellent teachers, young people of all ages are able to develop their self-esteem and presentation skills in a supportive and welcoming environment. By giving students multiple opportunities to speak and present at least one speech every session, they’re given the opportunity to build confidence and develop valuable life skills that will follow them throughout life.
Problem Solving & Critical Thinking Skills
Another benefit of public speaking and debating courses is that they can help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
These skills are important because they enable students to think on their feet, come up with solutions quickly, and adapt to changing circumstances.
In a fast-paced world, being able to think critically and solve problems quickly is one of those valuable life skills that will give any student an edge in whatever they do – whether it be at school, in their jobs or merely prioritising things at home.
But how do debating and public speaking classes run by Speaking Schools Australasia help develop these skills?
Analysing both sides of an argument
One of the critical things that public speaking and debating courses do is encourage kids to look at both sides of an argument.
In many cases, there will be a particular topic that needs to be discussed (and often debated). Students will be able to choose their own side of the topic, or if they’re involved in a debate, be split into two groups, with each group arguing for or against the topic. Having chosen (or been assigned), students will then need to consider a broad range of ideas to determine the strengths of their case, and what might make a persuasive argument.
This encourages students to analyse both sides of the argument and to think about the points that need to be made to persuade their audience (or win the debate). In doing so, they develop strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are both essential for any child’s education.
Considering ideas on your feet
Another way in which public speaking and debating courses help build critical thinking and problem-solving skills is by encouraging children to think on their feet.
In a debate, for example, children will need to listen to the points made by the other side and then respond quickly with a rebuttal. This encourages them to think quickly and come up with solutions on the spot, which is an important life skill in both school and the workplace.
Similarly, when preparing for a public speaking event, students often have to use their creative writing skills to come up with interesting ways to capture their audience’s attention and deliver their message effectively. This too requires quick thinking and the ability to problem-solve on the spot and helps teach children how to be more confident communicators.
Thinking clearly under time pressure
A third way that public speaking and debating can help build a child’s critical thinking skills is by teaching them how to consider the implications of a topic quickly and effectively.
In many cases, children will only have a limited amount of time to think about a topic before they need to present a coherent speech to their audience. This process encourages them to find the most essential information quickly and to use that information effectively when speaking to their audience, all the while under strict time pressure and potentially discussing ideas that they lack expertise on.
The internal knowledge that you can speak with authority without much preparation time is the self-confidence boost many kids need – and something that can only really come with experience.
How can Public Speaking Courses for Kids Help?
These are all valuable life skills that will serve your kid well both in school and in their future career – being able to see both sides of an issue and argue effectively without prompting is a skill that is increasingly valued in today’s society, and something that can really boost any child’s confidence.
By enrolling your kid in one of these courses, such as those run by Speaking Schools, you can help them develop the skills and self-esteem they need to be successful now and into the future.
At its core, debating is a team activity – whilst individual performance is important, students win and lose as a team.
This is important because it teaches children the value of teamwork and how to work effectively with others. These essential skills will be useful not only in their academic and professional lives, but their .
But how can debating courses help children to develop essential teamwork skills?
Working together towards a common goal
One of the critical things that debating teaches children is how to work together towards a common goal.
To be successful in a debate (or a group presentation), team members need to be able to trust and rely on each other. They also need to be able to communicate effectively and work together to come up with the best possible arguments, both in the prep room and then out in the debate itself. This requires not only the self confidence to speak up and make their voice heard, but also ensuring that they are able to listen to others and reach compromises – something that every parent hopes their kids
This encourages children to see the value of teamwork and to understand how important it is to be able to work well with others.
Developing leadership skills
In addition to teaching children how to work well with others, debating courses can also help them to develop leadership skills.
Each debate team (or group presentation) will usually have one or two children who take on the role of an informal ‘leader’. This means that they are partially responsible for coordinating the team’s activities, from preparing the arguments to be used in the debate to giving instructions to the other students on what needs to be done during prep.
Being a good leader is more than being bossy – you need to be interested in what you’re doing, know how to give voice to your ideas and often show body language that demonstrates you are a person worth listening to.
Every parent wants their kid to be a leader, and public speaking and debating classes are an excellent way for children to develop leadership skills and learn how to take charge in a team environment (whilst also helping them understand the importance of clear communication and effective organisation).
Learning from mistakes
Finally, debating and public speaking classes can also help children to learn from their mistakes.
In any speech, there may be times when things don’t go as planned or when a team makes a mistake. This is all part of the learning process, and it provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn how to deal with setbacks and how to bounce back from them. This is how resilience in built – the idea that no matter what happens (whether at school or in life), we can bounce back.
This is an essential skill that students carry with them throughout their lives, and a skill that every parent wants for their kids.
How can a course help build these public speaking skills?
Speaking Schools Australasia offers a range of debating and public speaking classes and workshops that help kids of all ages work on these skills in a fun and welcoming environment to help effect positive change.
Each school holiday and weekly term course we run has a structured program with clear learning outcomes that places the focus squarely on the students attending the workshops – our goal is to help them find their own voice so they can share their thoughts and passions with the enthusiasm they deserve.
So what next?
Enrolling your child in a public speaking or debate course can offer several benefits, from engaging classes to developing confidence and communication skills to learning how to think on their feet and problem-solve to working better as a team and a leader.
Whilst there are many providers out there, Speaking Schools offers everything that a parent might be looking for in a program. At Speaking Schools, we:
- Utilise classes with fewer students than other providers, to ensure that every student has the opportunity to present a speech and receive feedback every lesson;
- Provide a range of school holiday and after-school weekly term programs that are specifically designed to ensure that every student presents a speech each and every session;
- Have both in-person and online classes at a range of venues to suit parents’ scheduling needs;
- Use the Speaking Syllabus, a custom-built set of resources specifically designed to bring out the best in our students across all our classes, teaching children resilience and helping them build confidence that they will carry with them well after school; and
- Accept Creative Kids Vouchers for all NSW-based students, helping save their parents a bit of money!
If you’re looking for programs that will give your child a leg up and help your them be their best self, look no further than Speaking Schools – with a public speaking program for students of all ages and the best debating classes Sydney-wide, there is no better time to join a course than today!