Focus Boxes Explained

Training children in the skills of Public Speaking can be made much easier by focusing step by step on the different tools, the different ‘Focus Boxes’ they can use. ┬áHere are some short videos to help explain each focus box.

These focus boxes are included in both the Student Books and the Teacher Manuals.

Standing Up

The very act of Standing Up makes a strong, positive statement. It says, "I'm here, I'm ready, Listen to me". Walk to the speaking area with pride and purpose. Remember you have something important to say that only you can say.

Speaking Out

Imagine your voice bouncing off the back wall. Project your voice so that the person at the very back of the room can hear every single word. Then everyone in between will hear you too. Remember, you have the power to make a difference with what you say and how you say it.

Facial Expressions

It is said that a smile is contagious. Do you know what that means? When somebody smiles at us, something wonderful happens, we smile back. That’s the power of the smile and guess what, smiling at someone actually makes us feel better too. When you face your audience first, always smile, it’s powerful. It connects. But smiling is only one form of facial expression. If someone doesn’t smile, that sends out a message too, doesn’t it? Facial expressions are a form of non-verbal communication. There are many messages we can convey with our facial expressions.

Prop

It can be very effective in a presentation to use a prop. A prop or visual aid used well can greatly enhance the impact of your presentation, your speech.

Lovely Language

Words are powerful. They paint a picture. They help the audience see, hear, feel and even smell exactly what you are talking about. Wonderful words and lovely language help us see more clearly but they also appeal to our other senses. The use of alliteration, words beginning with the same sound can be very effective too. When choosing describing words, adjectives or adverbs, it should help to think of the many descriptors: size, shape, colours, number, doing, position, texture.

Voice

he voice is possibly the most beautiful natural instrument there is. We can make it loud, we can make it soft and quiet yet all the while, clear. It’s important to project your voice when you speak. Most often, we speak from here but try projecting your voice so that you speak from your diaphragm. Remember, speaking loudly does not mean shouting. Speak so that the person at the very back of the room can hear every single word. Then everyone in between will hear you too.

Structure

Structuring your speech is simpler than you think. In its simplest form, your speech is like the palm of your hand. You have a beginning, middle and ending. If your speech is a story-telling presentation, the most straightforward structure is to tell the events in chronological order, that is the order in which they happened.Structure helps your audience follow the course of your presentation.

Hand Gestures

You might not hear them but your hands talk. Look…………the open hands are very powerful. Hand gestures used in conjunction with our words can help understanding, eg I begged her and pleaded, used before our words, can signal what words are coming eg. I said NO. There are many hand gestures we use on a regular basis.

Body Language

You make an impact on your audience, you send a message, even before you open your mouth to speak. How do you do this? With your body language. Is it strong, proud and confident? Body language forms a large part of the non-verbal communication that compliments and illustrates what you’re saying.

Eye Contact

When we speak to someone we need to make eye contact, to look them directly in the eye, to hold their attention and convince them about what we are saying. In the same way when someone is speaking to us, we make eye contact to show that we are listening. Making eye contact inspires deep feelings of connection. So, if you want to connect with your audience, look people in the eye, one at a time.With practice, you will master this important skill and turn it into a behavior that will serve you well in all areas of your life.

Pause

Really good public speakers are masters of the pause. Before they begin to speak, they pause. When they end a sentence they pause. To convey emotion and connect, they pause. To control the pace of their whole presentation, they pause. This gives the audience time to take in their words and all of the other techniques they are using and a chance to reflect on their message.

Get in touch with us today

Please don't hesitate to get in touch for more advice on how to use focus boxes, information on our programmes or to book a public speaking engagement.