We all know those speakers: they’re captivating; they have us hanging on their every word as they effortlessly command the stage.We’re envious of their ability to engage the audience, convey their message with conviction, and leave a lasting impact.
It’s easy to assume that such charismatic speakers must be natural-born extroverts, thriving in the spotlight and feeding off the energy of the crowd.
But here’s a secret: brilliant speaking is a skill that can be LEARNT. You don’t have to be naturally outgoing and gregarious to be a persuasive, inspiring speaker. If that’s you – great. But if it isn’t, you still have as much value as a speaker.
Introverts are often misunderstood: people think they are shy or socially awkward. But it’s just a personality trait. While extroverts often feed off the energy in the room, introverts gain energy from spending time alone (and may even find social interactions draining).
While extroverts may appear naturally outgoing and comfortable on stage, introverts possess unique strengths that are a huge asset when it comes to public speaking.
If you’d describe yourself as an introvert, here are just a few of the skills you may already have within you.
- An introspective approach means a tendency to think deeply before speaking. You might be inclined to spend time reflecting on the content and structure of your presentation, the thoughts you want to convey and how they might resonate with your audience.
- Your listening skills help your audience feel you are really paying attention to the audience’s needs; that you care about them, in this moment. This display of empathy is invaluable.
- Your storytelling power. If you’re naturally someone who likes to observe and reflect on the world around you, you can translate that into a compelling narrative, full of rich detail that excites and connects with your audience.
- Your perceived calmness. Remember: there is power in stillness. Whilst your extrovert colleagues are relishing their time on the stage, your composed poise will project a sense of confidence and authenticity. You don’t need to be something you’re not.
- Authentic vulnerability is gold. When we can see you aren’t trying to mask your discomfort, we connect through that vulnerability. You can’t buy this sort of relatability and the trust it can build.
- One-on-one time. Interestingly, whilst extroverts revel in large groups, they sometimes struggle in more intimate, one-to-one interactions. The strength you carry as an introvert can be leveraged during networking events or after presentations, where you can strike up meaningful conversations with small groups or individuals. These personal connections can lead to deeper relationships, opportunities for collaboration, and a stronger impact going forwards.
Being an introvert isn’t a limitation: it’s a unique strength. We don’t want to live in a world full extroverts, any more than we want to live in a world full of introverts. We need EVERYONE, and taking ownership of your personality is the first step in owning your right to speak out and be listened to.
If you’d like help understanding how to approach public speaking and strengthen the skills you already have inside you, ready to be unleashed, get in touch.