You’d never know it, but many CEOs, other leading business speakers and even comedians are introverts. Presenting or speaking in public is a skill they’ve cultivated rather than something they’d naturally choose to do.
If you are more of an introvert or manage those who are, Susan Cain’s book ‘Quiet. The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking’ is really worth a read.
It reveals some useful insights into techniques that successful introverts use to make speaking in public easier and more authentic:
- Introverts can act ‘out of character’ and are very capable of being more extrovert for the sake of work they consider important, people they love or anything they value highly. So identify what is important. It might be an important piece of work or a goal.
- Being bounced into speaking ‘off the cuff’ or informally can be a real pressure. Many introverts work hard on analysing the audience and even preparing a few useful anecdotes on cards to drop into the conversation.
- Many introverts are ‘highly reactive’ that is they are much more aware and sensitive to what is going on in the audience. This can be a blessing as they can react to the audience in the moment. It can also be a curse if it puts them off their stride. The key is planning and analysis. First of all, learn to be in the right mindset by reframing the situation to be less threatening. Then work out the audience, be clear on your messaging, create a strong presentation you really like and rehearse.
Introverts bring a reflective, considered view and expertise that needs to be heard. From time to time this requires a change of style to win the attention of extroverts. And it requires the extroverts to listen harder to people who take a quieter approach.
We do a great deal of work with scientists, engineers and doctors who often benefit from a presentation course geared to the specific strengths and requirements of introverts. We also work with a lot of extroverts who have to adapt their approach to a more reflective audience. If you’d like to know more please do contact us.