This past weekend was the recital for ten 8th grade girls in my community Confidence class. We met for 8 weeks. I developed this class in 2004 at the request of a mother. The girls learned what confidence looks like, sounds like, and how to speak the language of confidence. They practiced entering a room, giving an informational and persuasive speech and even interviewing for a job. From what I've read, there tends to be a decline in female confidence around the early teen-age years. This training gave them real world skills and a platform to present themselves powerfully. Public speaking is a skill that will benefit them for a life time.
During the recital each girl gave 3 presentations. They did a great job presenting to the parents. It was a pleasure to work with them. A graduate from the first class was home from college and agreed to say a few words to the class. She talked about how she's not afraid to speak in public and how presentation skills helped her in high school and college. Her younger sister, who was a graduate of the current class, asked to take the platform again. She told the group how helpful the class had been and then presented me with a bouquet of red roses. I was surprised. It was their day. The girls rocked. I'm so proud of them.
Some of them may go on to join the high school debate team. As the debate coach noted, "They're presentation ready". Now maybe they'll have the confidence to step up and stand up and be the future leaders they are meant to be.