Healthy, strong family relationships are foundational to young people’s growth, learning, and well-being.
These relationships build strong social and emotional strengths that kids use throughout their lives.
But great family relationships don’t just happen.
Welcome to My Discovery Destination!
Discovery Family Adventures
where your family can find plenty of opportunities to
The Discovery Family Adventures provide ideas, activities, and experiences to help build strong family relationships.
Our goal is to strengthen family relationships to help kids be and become their best selves
and to support parents in raising happy, successful, resilient kids in an exciting,
but sometimes turbulent and dangerous world.
Choose from the Adventures listed below
(or design your own family adventure!)
A Key Life Skill
Goal: Learn the basics of public speaking to increase confidence and your ability to communicate.
The Adventure: Learn about public speaking and then practice, either at home or in a public place.
Tie the reward to whatever the speech or presentation was about. For example, if they gave a speech on the history of their local community, take some time to drive around and see some of the historical sites they talked about in the speech
If they give a speech/presentation at a community event, stop for ice cream on the way home, or another favorite treat. If the budget is tight you may want to just pick up their favorite treat from the store on the way home.
Mention something you learned from their speech/presentation a few days or a few weeks later. The ultimate reward for a speaker is to know that someone learned from what you said and is using the information days or weeks later.
If they need anything to continue their speaking engagements you may want to get it for them. This could be as simple as a new notebook to record all of their notes and speeches in.
Take a picture of them speaking/presenting and hang it on the fridge or another prominent place in the house. Comment on how well they did and how proud you are of them.
If possible implement what they talked about into your family routine. For example, if they did a presentation on recycling then implement a few of the things they talked about into your recycling process at home-- and be sure to verbalize that you learned that from them and are doing it because they taught you how important it is.
Have each member of the family identify something they care about and prepare a short presentation about their chosen topic. This could be a hobby or talent, something they have learned about, or something they want to learn more about. You can use the internet to research and review some basic principles of successful public speaking. Some of the things you may want to consider learning more about include:
Choosing and researching your topic
Using inflection in speaking
Memorization - yes or no? (See resources below)
Avoiding “filler” words (“uh,” “um,” “you know,” and so on.)
FUN IDEAS FOR COMPLETING THIS ADVENTURE
Here are some ideas for completing this Adventure. Choose whichever one works for you, or choose another Adventure that fits your family:
Start by encouraging family members to brainstorm different situations where public speaking experience may be required of them. Explore how public speaking could be a benefit to them? To those around them? In their future careers?
Provide an opportunity for each family member to make the presentation to the family. This could be one 'public speaking' night at home, or have different family members present on different nights. Let them share how they felt about their speech, what they would do differently next time, etc. Be sure to keep the discussion positive.
Use various opportunities in the community for family members to make their presentations-- opportunities at school, at church, at youth groups, or whatever opportunities are available.
Attend an event where you can observe experienced speakers. Then discuss what you like about the way they presented their speech, what you didn't like, what you learned. How did they handle interruptions or challenges? Did it inspire them to action?
Invite each family member to share a time when they were influenced by a speaker. Encourage them to include what it was about the speech that influenced them and how it has changed them.
Take time to review ways to be a good audience when someone is speaking-- turn cellphones off, give the speaker your undivided attention, do not interrupt, etc.
If family members need some preliminary practice you can start by working as a family to create an 'add-on' story. Sit in a circle. One family member starts telling a story, and then everyone in the circle speaks for one minute, in order, adding to the story. After the Adventure be sure to point out some of the creative things your family members came up with. Try it as often as the family would like-- it's great experience for everyone.
A Recent KSL Article shared the following:
Sweaty palms, increased heart rate and dry mouth. No, these aren’t side effects of a new prescription drug. What could cause such a dramatic reaction? Public speaking. Research from Chapman University found 26% of Americans have a fear of public speaking. In several research projects conducted over decades, the number one fear for most people is public speaking, but it’s an essential part of life and a successful business career. Presentation skills are the most overlooked and underdeveloped disciplines in corporate America. People get promoted and find themselves needing more training for storytelling and public speaking.
Why is public speaking important?
Those who present with confidence are more likely to be seen as leaders and more likely to be promoted. Professional presentation skills bleed into one-on-one interactions, such as interviews or client meetings. Regardless of an audience of one or 1,000 people, tuning in to how the audience is responding to your information is key to successful communication. It could be the deciding factor to winning that account or landing that new job. Whether you are the captain of your household or the CEO of a major corporation, improving your presentation skills will build self-confidence, expand your value and position you as an influential person.
Why does public speaking freak us out?
Without training, a presenter’s emotions can go wild. An activity that you do every day, like stepping off a curb to cross a street, becomes easy and almost thoughtless. However, that same action in a different situation is terrifying, like stepping out of an airplane. The act is the same, but the environment is radically different. The shift from presenting everyday attitudes to a formal presentation is known to elicit rapid heart rates and induce sweating. It’s critical to have the necessary tools for each scenario to calm stress, anxiety and fear.
There are several techniques for improving presentation skills and giving a polished presentation. Focusing on planning, practicing and learning how to calm nerves are solid techniques to developing a top-notch presentation. Building in voice fluctuation, moving with purpose and engaging better eye contact to enhance the presentation and message are also valuable techniques, and with proper practice, can calm nerves. To help alleviate nerves and boost confidence, keep these simple tips in mind:
Most people in the room don't want to trade places. Remember that they want you to do a great job. So, try to relax and relate to them.
Memorizing your presentation is dangerous. It isn't hard to spot someone who is just reciting information vs. one who is communicating with the group. Learn how to use a phrasing technique wherein short blocks of information are memorized to help you stay on track.
Use your own voice and present as yourself. Don't try to be Steve Jobs or Tony Robbins. Be yourself, and you'll be much more comfortable.
Be a storyteller
Even if the presentation is simply distributing information, engaging the emotions of the audience is critical to its success. Using a Cadence Chart to plan your presentation will help manage information and strategically design the impact and emotions of the audience. Engaging emotion is key to having your information stick. Stories are the framework around which most of life is designed. Using stories in a presentation will accomplish the goal of invoking the audience's imagination and cementing information. Stories amplify and become mental scenes that are hard to forget. Memories of childhood and career events are powerful when weaved into the facts being presented. Don’t just tell the story, draw them into it. Make them feel like they were there.
Ready to take your presentation skills to the next level? Then you'll want to practice, practice, practice. Why not organize your own Speaker's Bureau with a group of friends from your school or neighborhood? Whether you meet once a week, once a month, or once a quarter, everyone will benefit from the experience and the opportunity to practice speaking skills.
Here are some public speaking activity ideas to help you get your group up and going. They will help you develop confidence and fluency, and they can be adapted to groups of all sizes, ages, and skill levels:
Idea #1: Interview Introductions
Interview Introductions are a great way to break the ice with a new group of people and help people get to know each other. Break into pairs and take 5-10 minutes to find out about each other. You can give specific questions to ask (i.e. where they live/work, what their hobbies are, their favorite book/film/son, what they are most proud of, what they plan to be, something funny that happened in their childhood, where they go for holidays, what they think about the latest local issue), or just leave it open for them to decide.
Then introduce each other to the rest of the group. This is a great way to get started since it's a lot less threatening or scary to talk about someone else rather than yourself. People usually respond really positively and are excited to represent the person they interviewed well.
Idea #2: Image Starters
Gather a collection of interesting images or photos from magazines, posters or newspapers. Be sure you hav enough for each member of your group to have one each and then a few extras. Place them face down and have every group member pick one. Using the image as a prompt, what can they share about it?
Here are some questions to consider:
Where is this photo/image from? (If they don't know, make it up! Encourage imaginative creativity.)
What's happening in this picture?
Is there a specific time or season associated with the picture?
What feelings does the image evoke?
What happened right before the photo was taken?
What is going to happen next?
Idea #3 For/Against
This public speaking activity encourages group members to develop their flexibility and the ability to see a topic from opposing sides. Each speaker has 30 seconds to talk 'for' a topic and then another 30 seconds to speak 'against' it. Have the group help come up with ideas for topics, such as:
money is the root of all evil
all schools should have uniforms and a dress code
volunteering does more good for the one serving than the one being served.
pets in apartments should be banned
high school should be optional
having a positive attitude makes life better
poverty is a state of mind
basketball should be everyone's favorite sport
Idea #4. The Object of my Affection
Gather up a collection of small objects such as a small toy, a can of sardines, a hair ribbon, an old black and white photographic portrait, a pair of baby shoes, a pretty rock, an old coin. Put them all into a non-see through bag. Each member of the group puts their hand into the bag and pulls out an object. Whatever they get is what they will talk about, sharing why it means so much to them.
This ____ saved my life. It happened like this...
Whenever I see a _______ it reminds me of the time when . . .
I couldn't live without this _______ and this is why . . .
Idea #5: Conducted Speech
This one noisy, effective and fun! Select a tongue twister such as Sister Susie is sewing shirts for soldiers." (Find more tongue twisters). Divide into groups of four. Three in each group will be the speakers and the fourth, the conductor. The speakers repeat the tongue twister responding to the conductor's direction. He/she can make them go fast or slow, high or low, loud or whisper. The goal of the exercise is to practice articulation coupled with vocal variety in speech rate and volume. Swap the conductor role around to give everybody a turn.
Idea #6: Tell Us the History of . . .
Have the group brainstorm a list of events or things such as a postage stamp, birthday cake, books, a zebra's stripes, a chimney, the tooth fairy, April Fools Day, a wheel, a Christmas tree, ice cream, a ladder, Father Christmas, May Day, a siren, shaking hands on meeting someone. You could even include common sayings like 'a penny for your thoughts'. Put the topic cards into a non-see through bag. Group members then take turns pulling a topic from the bag and give an account of the history or story behind the thing or event they've drawn. It doesn't need to be fact-- it's actually more fun if it's not! Encourage imagination, outrageous lies, flights of fantasy. The goal of this public speaking game is sustained credible fluency. Aim for 1 - 2 minutes per story.
Idea #7: Story Starters
As a group write down opening sentences or phrases on slips of paper. You'll need one for each member of your group and a few extras.
Here are some examples:
'It was a dark and stormy night . . .'
'It makes me nervous when people say . . .'
'Yesterday I saw it, and couldn't believe it was true . . .'
'My favorite activity is just like it . . .'
The funniest thing I ever saw was . . .'
'In 20 years time I hope to be . . .'
'It made me crazy to think . . .'
'All I want for Christmas is . . .'
'If I had three wishes . . .'
'You know something is terribly wrong when . . .'
'The little voice inside my head ...',
'Until now it's been a secret . . .'
'Sometimes I just can't help . . .'
'You know you're getting old when . . .',
'I heard the craziest thing this morning'
You know the drill. Put the slips of paper into a non-see through bag. Taking turns, each member of the group reaches into the bag and pulls out a story starter. The starter they've drawn must be used to open their story. Each speaker should speak for at least 1-2 minutes.
Take a picture of your public speaking experience and post it to your social media sites with the hashtag #publicspeaking
by Public Speaking
Check back often as we will post new Adventures every week