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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most confident speaker of all?

One of the major barriers to confidence in public speaking is the uncertainty of how an audience perceives you as a speaker. Here is a five minute public speaking exercise for you that we often use at Brandon Learning Centre to develop self awareness.

Arm yourself with a book or newspaper. Find a quiet spot with a full length mirror. Take a deep breath and read the text as though, behind the mirror, lies an invisible audience. Watch your face and body language as you progress through the reading. Try to match your gestures and facial expressions to the content of your literature. Throughout the exercise, identify moments when you are relaxed and engaged and remember how this feels. With practice, the objective is to be able to extend these moments and to become aware of how you can adapt your behaviour to connect with an audience

When you first try this exercise, your initial reaction will be to laugh and/or be bashful. Persist and, as you drive away the demons of doubt, you will find that your fears will be replacing by your growing confidence.

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Time running away? Practising for the ISEB Pre-test

One of the challenges a number of our children appear to be encountering when they are taking the ISEB and other pretests is runnning out of time.

The maths section in particular can present problems as students try to extract the problem from the test.

Try this:

Give you child a sheet of word-based maths problems (e.g. three boys bought a six litre bottle of orange squash which they divided equally amongst them, how much did each boy receive?) and ask your child to write out the resultant sum.

As your child becomes faster, increase the complexity of the arithmatic.

Include: fractions, percentages, measurements.

Allocate time to completing the sheet.

Use a large kitchen timer which rings when "time is up" so your child gets used to working to time constraints. Talk to them about how they are going to be dividing his time.

You can use the timer technique are you practice verbal/non-verbal reasoning.