Public Speaking for Introverts

We, humans, excel from the rest of the creatures because we can reflect and retain information collectively. The way we do this is with effective interpersonal or mass communication skills. Typically, people are segregated to introverts and extroverts – to the ones that reflect within and the ones that collect and synthesise information from the outside. Some do both quite well without particular practice – and others might need more practice to reveal either side. In any case, a well-balanced human and professional will be required to eventually do both well.

Inherently, introverts feel much more intimidated than an extrovert in standing in front of an audience. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t give a wonderful presentation. They simply might need a more specific approach in doing so. Take for example Steve Jobs – a remarkable introvert that has managed to become one of the greatest presenters of our time. Introverts produce positive energy by getting in touch with their thoughts and internal space. They need quiet time and sometimes solitude to reflect and analyse information and deduct meaning.

Therefore, it takes a lot of energy when they are required to face a crowd. This doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy doing so. They might be outgoing and love to socialise, but by the end of the event, they will be exhausted. The exact opposite takes place for extroverts. They get energy from the external environment and they feel energised being around stimulating settings. This is why they are more likely to feel and act more confident in public speaking arrangements. But you need to be you – because everyone else is taken. And this is how you can become a great speaker:

  • Recognize your strengths & weaknesses
  • Accept your fear of public speaking and work on it
  • Seek and study public speakers you like on YouTube
  • Prepare a clean presentation with big visual backgrounds
  • Stay authentic with your content and your audience
  • Hold a pen or a pin that you can play with your fingers
  • Wear clothes that make you feel nice

Being more of an introvert can be both an asset and a challenge. Just keep in mind that we are our own best and worst critics. With some introspection and a well prepared presentation we can give a great performance that can positively influence many people. I personally focus on the context and the message and analyse the target audience before any presentation. I take my time to practise and feel the flow of the presentation and the emotional vibe days before the event. Say yes to public speaking and focus on your objective and what you want to accomplish. It’s easy to connect with people in front of you when you get out of your own head and focus on the gift you want to give by sharing your ideas.

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