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How Public Speaking Benefits Your Child

Every graduate of Ridgefield Academy delivers a graduation speech during their commencement ceremony

In today’s world, the ability to communicate effectively is an invaluable skill for people of all ages. When it comes to our children’s education and their future success, learning the art of public speaking can offer them a significant advantage as they go on to attend college and start to build their careers. Public speaking has many benefits both inside and outside the classroom, including fostering confidence, enhancing critical thinking, and more.

It is important for public speaking to be integrated into the academic curriculum starting at a young age, which is why we are happy to be partnering with Ridgefield Academy to share more information about their public-speaking curriculum and how developing this skill helps prepare students of all ages for success!

Public speaking is integrated into Ridgefield Academy's curriculum for all students

Benefits of Public Speaking for All Ages

It’s never too early to begin learning the art of public speaking! Here are some key ways that public speaking benefits students:

  • Builds Self-Confidence
  • Enhances Critical Thinking
  • Improves Communication
  • Fosters Leadership Skills
  • Enhances Social Connections

Public Speaking at Ridgefield Academy

Public speaking can be intimidating, especially for students who don’t have much experience speaking in front of an audience. That is why having ample opportunities to practice public speaking is an important component of the curriculum for all grades.

“Students are provided the opportunity to practice starting as early as preschool. Preschool students participate in a “Show & Share” where they speak about themselves or items that are important to them in front of their classmates.”

Learn more about how Ridgefield Academy’s public-speaking programs help prepare students for success:
Communication Skills at RA from Ridgefield Academy

Later, in Ridgefield Academy’s Lower School, students are actively taught public-speaking skills through projects such as autobiography presentations. They often practice with partners and provide feedback to one another. Students also hone their skills by speaking in front of the larger school community at assemblies. Grade 3 students and Grade 8 students are the leaders of morning assemblies during which they deliver a speech about a topic relevant to the week.

“Ridgefield Academy has long understood the value of strong communication skills and public speaking. At RA, students begin learning early on how to compose well-constructed essays and deliver remarks with confidence and poise. It takes deliberate instruction and a great deal of practice.”

Grade 3 students and Grade 8 students are the leaders of morning assemblies
RIdgefield Academy's Upper School Play

By Grade 4, public speaking opportunities are also integrated with theater classes where students deliver a memorized monologue on stage for their families. They also can choose to participate in extracurricular opportunities that grow their skill and comfort in this area, such as by taking part in the Upper School play.

In English and history classes, students lead debates and participate in mock trials as a way to deepen their presentation proficiency. Students may stand at a podium in front of their class and present their view on a specific topic or conduct a mock trial in a group setting. No matter the age or grade level, these exercises offer important occasions for students to continually enhance their competency.

 

All Ridgefield Academy students are taught the 4 P’s:

  • Preparation: Know your material, know your audience, know your space
  • Presentation: How are you presenting your material? Pace, volume variability, pitch variability, pauses, eye contact, and use of verbal distractors such as, “like,” “um,” and “ah” etc.
  • Prompt: Who or what is your prompt? A notecard? Person? Written paper? Poster board? Slide presentation?
  • Practice: Be familiar with your speech, practice for another person, practice in the mirror… practice makes proficient!
Students practice public speaking with partners and provide feedback to one another
RA students lead debates and participate in mock trials

Every student’s RA experience culminates in the delivery of a graduation speech in front of family, friends, and peers during their commencement ceremony. This is a cornerstone of the program and provides students a chance to reflect on their journey and share what has shaped them into the people they are today.

“One of the ways Upper School students practice public speaking is through everyday assignments. Debates, presentations, recitations, are all part of producing good, competent public speakers.” – Patricia Carrington, Upper School English Teacher

As we raise the next generation of leaders, it is important that we provide them with the skills that will help them thrive. Reinforcing public-speaking techniques starting at a young age is a great way to ensure that our children have the tools to be effective communicators, confident leaders, and critical thinkers who will help make a positive impact in our society!

Learn more

Ridgefield Academy Summer Camp CT 2022

We’d like to thank Ridgefield Academy for sponsoring this story and supporting the Ridgefield community! To learn more about Ridgefield Academy, visit their website or schedule a private tour today with the Admissions Team.

Learn more at: ridgefieldacademy.org

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