Dealing with Shyness

Dealing with Shyness

Many teams have to deal with a team member who is extraordinarily shy and freezes up when an adult talks to them. What should a team do and how should they plan for it?

The following article incorporates ideas posted on the Facebook Group FLL: Share & Learn .

Inform the Judge Advisor:

Contact the Tournament Director and Judge Advisor ahead of time and let them know the situation. If judges are informed ahead of time, they will be understanding of the student.

Allow the student to read his/her part:

Allow the student to have a written copy of his/her lines so that he/she can read them or refer to them if stuck.

Have the other students support the shy student:

Have the other students help the student who is shy during the presentation. Have a team member perhaps rephrase the question from the adult so it feels like the question is coming from a friend (rather than an adult).

Give the student a non-speaking role:

Every student does not have to speak, although every student must be involved in some way during the presentations. Find a role that the student is comfortable with.

Speak through something else:

Have the student speak through something else (like a puppet) or wear a costume that prevents eye contact with the adults (like a tree). This might help them be more comfortable.

Help get the student comfortable:

Practice with the student to help them feel prepared. Help him/her by providing sample questions. Sometimes a fidget toy in the pocket helps.

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