Charlie was so excited the day he was picked to speak at his assembly. “Madame put all our names in a jar and I was chosen number 2!,” he exclaimed. Charlie would get a chance to speak at 2 large school assemblies (one for students, one for parents) presenting what his class has learned about the water cycle.
He was so excited. And it was a wonderful change to witness as Charlie wasn’t always so thrilled to be the center of attention.
Charlie was slower to speak than his brother. He was tongue tied at birth, and while we had his frenulum snipped at the time, it wasn’t done enough and so he had some speech issues.
Through kindergarten and Grade 1 he had speech therapy and exercises to work on his diction, but even then he was still shy to speak.
Then his brother started a YouTube channel and while Charlie saw how much fun Zacharie was having with it, he refused to speak in any videos we did together.
“My voice is so squeaky,” he would say.
Eventually, though, he gained some confidence and with some encouragement started to come out of his shell. I would see the gerbil wheel spinning in his brain as he focussed on clearly enunciating words. And this spring he started his own YouTube channel, and bounds down to the basement studio with regular ideas for me to shoot.
But tonight was the biggest step. Speaking in a YouTube video is easy, it’s just me and him in our basement. While the audience could be huge, you can’t see them at the time you’re performing. Public speaking is far more daunting, with the crowd right in front of you. Right .. there!
But Charlie stepped up, spoke loudly and clearly, rolled his Rs in his beautiful 7 yr old french accent, and nailed it.