As I sat and watched our K-5 students perform “The Three Piggy Opera” with such amazing confidence, enthusiasm, and “poise” (yes, kindergarteners can have poise), I had to remind myself that these precious children were only five years old! Yet, they sang beautifully, spoke with clarity, and danced in sync with the most adorable moves!
Much later that night, our sixth grade students mesmerized the audience with captivating scenes from Gothic Fiction stories and went on to read their own stories of this genre. Full of suspense and eerie happenstance, these Gothic stories were written so well that the audience members continuously remarked that it was hard to believe the stories were the creations of sixth graders! The ability to engage all audience members as they “acted” and spoke came rather easy to our “Super Seniors” since they have had countless opportunities to “perform” in front of small groups in class and larger audiences on stage!
It is well known that the most common phobia people have is performing in front of an audience — even if it’s a small group of people. Some people dread public speaking even more than death! Most of us live with this fear throughout our lives. We fail to get proper guidance to overcome our stage fright. Most schools and colleges do not provide enough or any training on public speaking; consequently, many of us lack the confidence to speak in public when we reach adulthood.
Public speaking is necessary for each one of us irrespective of our age or profession. Public speaking boosts confidence, and as a result, there is a greater chance of succeeding at job interviews, working on a team, and giving effective presentations or seminars in the workplace. It improves your professional life and your relationship with your colleagues. As a confident speaker, you will be comfortable “breaking the ice” and starting conversations with strangers, which will undoubtedly expand your social circle and improve your personal life.
Performing or speaking in front of an audience is not an inborn talent, but, rather, a skill that can be cultivated by anyone. It’s true that for some people it comes naturally, but even so, we have to be taught the nuances of performing and be given many opportunities to practice. I have the wonderful opportunity of seeing your children transform from shy and timid speakers and performers into confident and poised young people who can speak in small social circles or captivate an audience of thousands on stage!
At Park Maitland School, students are given countless opportunities to perform or speak in front of others through the many collaborative projects in the classrooms, curriculum events, and, of course, on our school stage, at the Bob Carr, and this year, at the Dr. Philips Center for Performing Arts! I’m always so proud to hear how friendly, courteous, and talented our students are even when they go on to high school, college, and beyond!
By Mrs. Cindy Moon
Head of School