Did you know that STEM subjects greatly help children develop public speaking skills? Public speaking skills can improve your child’s communication and persuasion skills, which will not only benefit them during their studies but also when they enter the workplace. And great public speaking skills have been proven to increase self-esteem too. As children learn how to express themselves, collaborate with others, and recognise verbal and non-verbal cues, they will be able to discern key messages when communicating with others.

How does STEM education affect public speaking skills?

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1) Presentations

For many children and adults, public speaking is a terrifying experience. But it is a necessary skill that can benefit everyone. In STEM fields, children are taught to give presentations to share their findings with their classmates. These presentations allow them to express themselves professionally and allow them to showcase what they have learned. All members of the class shall be allowed to present their findings so that everyone can improve their public speaking skills.

2) Brainstorming sessions

Teachers would agree that a collaborative classroom can benefit the students immensely because more often than not, great solutions come from the product of multiple ideas. Therefore, through a brainstorming session, children will learn how to listen and take turns conveying their ideas. They will also learn to work in a team of people with different personalities and backgrounds, which will help to boost their confidence and improve their public speaking skills.

3) Pitching ideas and visions

Pitching is the art of selling an idea or business. When learning in STEM programmes, children are taught to create, protect, market, and pitch their creations. Through this pitching exercise, children learn how to maximise their time to only convey key points that they believe will sell their inventions. This also means that they will learn how to express themselves clearly and creatively under pressure.

4) Become better at asking for help or opinion

To build connections with other people and influence others, communication is key. By practising collaborative communication in STEM programmes, children will quickly learn how to better communicate with one another—this includes asking and answering questions. Not only will they know how to get their message across effectively, but they will also know how to recognise verbal and non-verbal cues and practise empathetic communication to better connect with people when asking for opinions.

How can you, as a parent, help your child become a better public speaker?

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1) Encourage public speaking from an early age

To encourage public speaking skills from a young age, you can have them roleplay as leaders. For example, as your child roleplays as a king, they will need to give a speech to their citizens. Let them get used to having attention on them as they speak!

2) Give them feedback

Simple feedback like “That was good” and “It’s nice” don’t cut. When giving feedback, be sure to tell them what they were lacking and include one or two suggestions that you think can help them improve. However, remember to wait until your child is done with their public speaking before you jump in and give them feedback! Whatever you do, do not interrupt them.

3) Record their practice sessions

Recording your child’s practice sessions is a great way to show them how they did and find ways to improve their public speaking skills. As you show the recorded clip, be sure to give them positive feedback, point out their strengths, and find areas that can be improved.

4) Encourage confidence

Last but not least, confidence is key to public speaking. Have your child make their own decisions to encourage them to be more confident in themselves. For example, when buying a meal, let them decide what they want to eat. Confidence needs to be nurtured from a young age. And you can also help boost their confidence by becoming a great role model to them because children learn through observations too.

Public speaking skills do not appear overnight. It takes time and lots of practice to finally grasp the confidence and communication skills needed to become a great public speaker. And keep in mind that public speaking skills can be obtained through multiple means, including through activities from STEM programmes.

All of our programmes and classes at Young Engineers Singapore focus on achieving good public speaking skills among the children. As they learn to code and build robots, they will also learn to share their ideas, work together and be more confident in themselves. For more information about our enrichment programmes, get in touch with us now or email us at admin@youngengineers.sg.