While we practiced ideas during class #5, we rehearsed the talks this week! The big event was on a Friday so on the Wednesday prior, we stopped by school to make sure we had all of our technical needs covered (camera angles, power point feed, sound for video) so that on Thursday, we could do a full dress rehearsal.
Here, you can see how we put them in their speaker order and invited some of the other kids who weren’t in the class to watch.
I read some research recently that stated the ability for a speaker to see the space in which they’ll be speaking before they do so is one of the best ways to reduce nervousness. But for kids who have never spoken in front of a group other than their immediate classmates (in the classroom where they go every day), spending time in this room was imperative.
After the practice session last week, we let them sing, dance and tell jokes from the stage. This week, we rehearsed two days before the big event from the stage. For kids that were nervous, we let them rehearse alone first, then invited others into the room slowly to be the audience. And with every time they practiced, their content got tighter and their nerves got calmer. Funny thing is that adults behave the same way!
One note about visuals: Only four students opted to use any imagery to go with their talks. I had always thought of imagery as what you use once your talk is finished; in this case, it might have helped a few of them solidify some key supporting points had I encouraged the use of them a bit more.
And a last thought for this session. At this point in the process I’m likening this whole experience to a piano recital: some of the parents are letting the kids practice in between classes, others are barely remembering that they are taking lessons. I can only expect so much from the kids not knowing how much support they are getting at home.