For 20 years, I’ve been training people to communicate in the real world. To be confident; to be influential; to build strong relationships. Why are many of us not trained to do this during our 12, 16, 18-year educations?
People who are good public speakers have worked on their skills to some degree. Influential people are that way mainly because they’ve taken it upon themselves to become so.
I went to a school where the main concern was academics. We were lectured to, made to memorize tons of facts with very few opportunities for us to communicate our ideas. I possibly had 5 oral report assignments during the course of grammar school and high school! And they were crazy scary! Nobody taught me to be relaxed and confident like I teach my clients now. Why is that?!
The only time we spoke aloud is when we were reading from a textbook. The teacher would say, “Open your history book to chapter 5 and row 1 person 1 start and each student take a paragraph.” What was the first thing you did? Listen to person 1? NO! You counted the people ahead of you, then you counted the paragraphs to see which one you were gonna get. To see how long it was. You hoped it was short. Can we talk about intelligibility here? Each student spoke in run-on sentences with no pauses, mumbled, spoke too fast; all because of a lack of confidence.
We were asked for the “right answer.”
We get out of college with amazing, expensive degrees and a fantastic knowledge of the subject of our choice. How many of us fall short during our interviews?
Meeting people for the first time and making small talk is difficult for many of us. I have tons of scientific evidence of this through my work. Many people find introducing themselves to others a bit scary. They can’t remember their names and avoid saying, “hello” when they see them again.
The list of situations where we’re ill-equipped to communicate with others can go on & on. I have lots more to say on the topic but i‘d like to keep this post short!
Teachers and parents, I implore you: praise your children when they discuss their ideas. When a child answers a question wrong tell them, “Great answer!” Say that. Say: “Great answer! I love the way you think! I was referring to _____, but your answer was good, too.” Provide the children with many more opportunities to express themselves.
Make communication skills a part of the curriculum!
To the teachers & parents who are already doing this I applaud you and I thank you. And I ask you to help spread this important message.
Here’s how to be a more persuasive communicator.
What are your thoughts on how to teach kids to be highly effective communicators?
Do you want to know why public speaking is so hard. The answer’s right here
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