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The Importance of Show & Tell

We all remember the exciting, nerve racking experience of “show and tell” in primary school. Bringing in your favourite item to show off to the rest of the class, wondering what all your friends may have brought in? After all these years (and there are a good few of them) I have always wondered how important these little “presentations” were and how we benefited from them. Reading several articles, it turns out that you actually learned a lot!

“A chance for children to think ‘out of the box’ a little and invite their teacher and classmates to come into their own little World for a minute or two”

The main benefits that I came across are as follows:

Building up Pride & Confidence

Show and Tell is a chance for our young pupils to show off their “prized possessions”. Being centre of attention for a couple of minutes will make them feel special and important. These emotions will make them feel more confident and valued. Who doesn’t like being the centre of attention? Even if it’s for a minute or two! Having your prized possessions as the talking point will emphasise their confidence and, it is always helpful to talk about something that you are passionate about!

Increasing Social Skills

Further social skills are gained with show and tell, for both the speaker and the audience. There is encouragement for the audience to sit still and listen thoroughly, taking all the information in. For the speaker, there is the encouragement to ensure that they are heard loud and clear and making sure that the information gets to the audience. The discipline and respect for others is therefore strengthened throughout this process, which will help them in further education. Especially at university, sat in lecture theatres after a heavy night (definitely speaking from personal experience).

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The importance of communication through body language is also emphasised through this process. Teachers ensure that the speaker faces the audience to make themselves come across more prominent and clear when presenting. The volume levels of the presenter’s voice is also monitored to make sure that they are not too quiet or too loud. This in turn ensures that the rest of the class doesn’t miss anything!

Making Friends

Most importantly, through show and tell you have the ability to make more friends. Having the opportunity to talk to others about the presentation, they might have something similar and that can lead to friendships being formed. Show and tell gives the speaker and the rest of the class something to talk about as a conversation starter, leading to our young pupils realising they have something in common. This can aid in forming a friendship too. These discussions are strengthened by the confidence and social skills that have also been gained. Ideal!

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It is incredible to think of how much we have all gained by show and tell in primary school! It’s great to know that the presentation skills and confidence that I used in university were gained by bringing in my toy shark! Communication skills are key for future development in life as well as education. It is great to know that these benefits are all gained from show and tell at an early age. Building confidence, learning great communication skills and making friends… Show and tell for the win!

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