As a public speaker I often take a few minutes after a presentation to think about how it went.
There are the 6 Ps of presentation skills – pace, pitch, power, pronunciation, passion and, perhaps the most powerful of all – pause.
This got me pondering today about the way we speak to toddlers.
1. Pace: if you speak too quickly your toddler will find it hard to process the words & understand what you’re saying to them, or asking them to do or what you’re chatting about.
2. Pitch: we need to vary our pitch when we speak with little ones. If you constantly shout they learn to switch off. If you learn to whisper & vary your voice your toddler gets drawn in towards listening & engaging with what you’re saying.
3. Power: (volume) is one of the hardest to judge as we hear our own voice very differently to how others hear us. If in any doubt, ask for feedback from your partner. Maybe you are too loud, or too quiet or maybe your little one finds it hard to listen or hear you due to too much background noise – like the TV, radio or washing machine!
Sometimes getting down to eye level with your toddler helps them hear you properly.
4. Pronunciation: Be careful about inflection at the end of your sentences. As it really changes how your toddler reacts to your words.
If you make your voice, go up in an upward inflection it sounds like a a question not a command to do something. So, your child may not reaction or do as you ask.
If you make your voice go down with a downward inflection, then there is no debate. It’s a command & kids respond better to your instruction.
5. Passion: An upbeat, passionate voice exudes confidence & your toddler will pick up on that vibe and react positively to your words.
6. Pause: It takes real confidence not to fill the silence and WAIT. It shows what I call ‘meaning business’ your confident in what you want your toddler to do.
So, although a pause may feel really long to us, it is vital if you wait as it exudes confidence.
Research also consistently shows that body language is a crucial in getting your message across and whether you get listened to.
Hope you found those 6 P’s helpful.
Try them and let me know how you get on and if you’d like to book me to speak to your organisation, school or parenting group get in touch.