The summer before heading to Alabama, I continued to be actively involved with the youth group, slowly becoming more comfortable in that role. We went to a big conference that summer in Atlanta. There were various talks throughout the weekend but then our group broke up into smaller groups for discussion. Leading and facilitating these discussions always made me nervous.
Part of my experience working at the newspaper in Los Angeles was helping with the sales department. I was drafted to assist in building up the classified section of the Spanish language monthly they published, trying to establish quality job offerings rather than the usual bar tending or janitorial positions.
I was excited to be part of a paper that wanted to improve the quality of life of readers and members of the community. But I didn’t speak much Spanish and I wasn’t a sales person. So, that was tricky.
Teachers are sneaky about finding ways to get students familiar with talking in front of the class.
In kindergarten, first grade and maybe even second grade, it’s disguised as show and tell. You’re bringing in an item from home that you love and talking about it. Early on, teachers emphasize the importance of sharing what you love.
That’s public speaking in its purest form. Eye contact isn’t evaluated as much and neither is the smoothness of your delivery. You’re just sharing to the best of your ability.
So those are good building blocks that progress through each grade level.