Terrified of Public Speaking?"Five Steps To Fearless Public Speaking"
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The strengths of the introvert speaker
I attended an event recently and the girl sitting next to me had her own business designing and making beautiful jewelry . When she asked me what did and I told her I was a public speaking coach she recoiled quite horrified. “Oh!” she said, “That is so scary! I would love to able to talk to an audience but I am way too much of an introvert. I just couldn’t bear the idea of all that attention focused upon me”.
The extrovert/introvert personality subject is really interesting. For some people they have never even considered where they may fall on the spectrum. I am myself an introvert by nature, but over the years I have learned strategies to support myself. These days I love speaking in public, it is something I do really well but I understand the very natural apprehensions of the introvert personality.
There are so many introverts out there who must have thoughts along similar lines of this young girl. How many introverts have amazing businesses but miss out on creating more business or reaching a wider audience because they just believe public speaking is something only extroverts do well?
If you feel you hover on the introvert end of the scale but also know that pushing yourself out there to speak is something that will help your business, I wanted to share a couple of thoughts to help you.
You don’t have to be the star of the show!
The first thing to realize is that a good public speaker does not have to be all singing, all dancing, and very funny. A good public speaker is someone who is authentic, tells a good story and delivers content and quality of information others need to hear. Some of the best speakers in the world are not at all funny, they don’t have to be, they just need to be compelling. Some speakers are lucky, they have a natural ability to ‘entertain’ their audience but being entertaining is not high on the list of requirements as a speaker.
Be yourself and be true to who you are
Being authentic, honest and vulnerable are attractive qualities. People like to see and hear that you know your subject and you are delivering information that is useful to them but they also like to see and feel that you are a real person they can relate to.
It’s not about you…it’s about them!
The young girl who told me she would hate all that attention focused upon her was making the mistake a lot of introverts make when thinking about speaking in public. It’s not about you….it’s about the audience, it is about what content you can give to them and how your knowledge can benefit them. Knowing your audience and their interests/needs is really important because then what you say is about meeting those needs. They are not interested in you as such, but they are very interested in what you can share with them
You won’t have all the skills……yet
Public speaking is an art, with many different aspects, skills that can be learned over time but you need to get started in order to discover what you don’t know and discover what aspects of your speaking needs developing. I am not saying go out there and fall flat on your face, but I am saying don’t let “perfection paralysis” get a hold of you. There are many ways to learn the skills, from speakers clubs, online courses, webinars, books, audio products and working with a coach. All of these methods will help you gain the skills you need, it will take a little time but don’t wait to be perfect to get out there. Besides, no one really wants or likes perfect it can be boring when it comes to speaking.
Know your material
Have a script (in your head, not written down) bullet points to help nudge you in the right direction. You will feel safe knowing you can always find your place or next point. This way, what you say isn’t stiff and over scripted.
Remember your strengths
The extrovert is most happy once up on the stage and presenting. The introvert is happier doing their preparation and just wish the presentation part was over as that is the part they enjoy the least. However it is good to remember that preparation is vital for a successful talk or presentation. There is no substitute for preparation, it’s like the foundations of a house. The house will stand up and remain standing up when the foundations are strong.
Focus your energy and re-charge your batteries
Accept that as an introvert getting out there into “performance mode” may take a little more focused energy for you than say for someone who thrives on being center of stage. You may have to gear up for your presentation and afterwards you may feel exhausted, but this is OK. Take the time you need to replenish and re charge your batteries in whatever form that takes for you. Obviously, don’t go scheduling in a number of talks/presentations on top of each other. Give yourself the time you need to regroup and collect your energy.
Give it a go – you might surprise yourself!
Sound preparation and developing your speaking skills over time, staying true to who you are and not pushing yourself to “perform” or be someone you are not are crucial considerations for you as an introvert. By stepping out of your comfort zone, no matter how scary it feels, you may surprise yourself as to how effective you can be as a speaker.
If you need help with public speaking I offer one to one help. I can tailor a package to suit your needs. Why not schedule a free Skype call and let us discover if I am the right coach to help you become that fabulous speaker you desire to be. Please take a look at my website: www.alyharrold.co.uk/work-with-me
To find out more about The Association of Speakers Clubs: www.the-asc.org.uk