How to present with passion – Lessons from a 7 year old

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Would you like to present with passion?

When Molly Wright became one of the youngest-ever TED speakers, she taught the world exactly how to present with passion, confidence and impact.

A seven year old girl taking the prestigious TED Talk stage created a fair amount of controversy.

Molly’s parents received a number of negative comments such as, ‘let this child be a child’ and ‘why would you do that as parents?’

Would you like your child to speak and present with passion? I don’t mean on a platform like TED, I mean at school, at home and socially.

Most people think that Molly is an inspiration 

The naysayers negativity extends to:

‘Very cute publicity stunt. Her parents trained her and put her up to this Ted Talk. She has trained to memorize and deliver long passages of text and perform on stage. I doubt that she understand the full meaning of the words she’s using.’

It’s interesting

Senior professionals all over the world 4, 5 or 6 times Molly’s age have also been trained and still struggle to speak as passionately and eloquently as Molly does. Many are good at sharing data but not always adept at demonstrating that they understand the full meaning of their content.

I think Molly does!

‘Let this child be a child’

Molly looks like she’s enjoying herself to me. I’d rather hear a 7 year old present with passion, confidence and eloquence than watch her addicted to an iPad or Nintendo.

This isn’t an article about whether a child should be allowed to present with confidence and such grace on TED. It’s also not about how much we can learn from her vitally real, clear and powerful message.

It’s about what so many of us can learn from this amazing young girl, Molly Wright.

It saddened me to read such vitriol.

It goes without saying that children should be allowed to immerse themselves and completely enjoy the playful, loving, explorative and learning experience of childhood.

Suggesting that this brilliant young mind isn’t doing so is doing both her and her parents a huge disservice.

‘Children should be heard and not just seen’

I grew up at a time where it wasn’t unusual to hear adults say, ‘children should be seen and not heard’.

The truth is, we should be encouraging and actively helping people to find, value and express their true voices at the earliest possible age. At Mindful Presenter we work with far too many highly intelligent and talented professionals who have never been taught to do so.

Had they been helped to do so in childhood, many would arguably be leading far happier and more enjoyable working lives today.

Much of our daily work involves helping professionals to present with confidence.

In a previous article,  ‘Public Speaking for Children – A message for teachers and parents,’ I wrote:

‘The benefits of learning to speak confidently in public at the youngest possible age can pay huge dividends. Lessons in public speaking for children can help young people:

– Boost their personal confidence and self-esteem

– Value their voice and express themselves openly, with greater ease

– Influence and persuade others more effectively

– Think critically and creatively

– Make new social connections

– Significantly enhance personal relationships

– Be more comfortable with other  people

– Stand up to bullies – they are in the workplace too!

Over the longer term, public speaking for children can help them to inspire people and even change the world.’

Adults aren’t doing such a great job in leading the world

Perhaps the world could do with many more Mollys.

If Molly is right and ‘Peekaboo really can change the world,’ why shouldn’t we listen to her?

Children are our future and yes, we should be protecting, nurturing, guiding and doing everything within our gift to give them the best possible childhoods we can.

We should also let them speak and listen very carefully to them.

Great job Molly, the world is crying out for more beautiful voices like yours.

Watch and listen to Molly’s message here but please do so with an open mind without assuming that she is not living and enjoying her childhood to the full:

If you’d like to learn how to present with passion:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

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