Introverts Can Be Great Public Speakers by Susan Dunn, Life and Wellness Coach, EQ
Only around 10% of us are introverts so it's not surprising the world is arranged for extraverts. Still introverts can be
excellent salespeople and also presenters; it's just they do it differently. If you are an introvert and do public speaking, or manage one who does, here are some tips.
1. Extraverts speak to think; introverts think to speak.
Speaking is not the 'first' tongue for an introvert Extraverts talk it out, figuring out what they think by talking to someone. Introverts are often on the receiving end of this! An introvert perpares everything in their head, thinking it through first, before they speak, which is excellent preparation for a presentation.
2. Create the day before. Create the day after.
Introverts tend to be introspective. Since you'll likely be preoccupied the day before, clear your desk of complicated matters, and do easy, mindless tasks.
People energize the extravert, and drain the introvert. Plan the day after a presentation as well. Immediately following the presentation, do what calms, soothes, or reenergizes you. The next
day, generally there's processing of the speech or event, as people call you to compliment you, go over points, or praise the event. Aside from that, don't have anything taxing scheduled.
3. Learn more about this wonderful trait of introversion.
The Introverts Blog was an instant hit, and is getting thousands of visitors a month. Nancy provides articles, tips, anecdotes, articles, poems, videos, photos, and excellent writing, just the way introverts like it.
4. If you manage an introvert, understand the rhythm pattern.
"Something intensely people-oriented is a much longer-term event for an introvert than it is for an extravert," says Nancy Fenn, the nation's No. 1 Introverts Coach. "Allow for this in scheduling and you'll get the best out of your introverted employee, along with their deep appreciation."
5. Have someone come work the presentation with you.
Managing a presentation is a lot more than standing up there talking. It's 'crowd control' when done right. Working the crowd beforehand, visiting with them during breaks and afterwards,
passing out business cards and brochures, getting email addresses ... there are a lot of details to attend to, and you can present better if you know someone trustworthy is 'taking care of details'.
6. Hire an introvert coach.
Introvert coaches understand the needs of an introvert and can help you master the things that tend to be obstacles for all introverts. Just be sure the person is an introvert herself. I refer clients to Nancy Fenn, The Introverts Coach, who is an introvert, a rare 1% of the population called The Healer. (the Keirsey Temperament Sorter).
One way you can tell is by their language. Introverts never adopt "designer" speech, but tend to stick with classic, refined English - no jargon. You won't find "languaging," or "functionalizing" or "leveraging" on their websites.
7. Learn what nurtures and revitalizes you.
As an introvert, it is likely others will have ideas of how to help you, and likely they'll be wrong since "you" are 10%, and "they" are 90%. Knowing yourself and being able to ask for what you need is always the best policy.
8. Train your colleagues and loved ones.
I presented on a cruise last year that also featured "The Fifth Dimension," and the lead singer came to my presentation, as did her
husband. I asked him what it was like being with her during the time before she, an introvert, performed. He said he had learned that she
"disappeared" and wasn't reachable, and the best thing for him to do was to "be around but not very much present." Now there's a loving couple. "Coffee," he said, "but no demands. I save discussing world peace or the in-laws for another time."
9. Get a massage.
Introverts tend to carry tension in their
muscles. Just as a tennis player gets a massage
immediately after the match to get rid of the
toxins, you can get a massage to restore yourself
back to normal.
10. Project confidence.
Introverts respond well when around someone who quietly believes in them. Since they generally over-prepare for things, you can assume (unless proven otherwise), they're prepared and will perform well, but all performance situations go best with learned optimism and a positive yet gentle forcefield. In other words, don't "fuss" over them or over details.
And if you're an introvert, work on your emotional intelligence skills, including optimism. It helps you present the real you in the most positive manner.
About the Author
trains and certifies coaches worldwide in a fast,
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