public speaking for introverts

susan cain is the author of the new york times bestselling book quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, which is being translated into 30 languages. here are six of her favorite tips. you might be right – and that’s ok. the best speakers are not necessarily dynamic or hilarious – they are simply interesting. “people think that being a good speaker means being funny or glib,” says david lavin of the lavin agency (who happens to be my lecture agent). the best speakers are compelling. at the same time, public speaking is a performance, and that’s a good thing, even if you’re not a natural actor. it’s because they feel liberated when interacting from behind a mask. think of your onstage persona the same way. surprisingly, both gladwell and lady gaga have this in common.

“when i wake up in the morning, i feel just like any other insecure 24-year old girl. introverts are phenomenal listeners, which attunes them to the needs of others. and that’s why speaking (instead of listening) can feel uncomfortable – unnatural, even. your job is to take care of the audience, not to be judged by it or even to entertain it. you are a teacher, a giver, an enlightener. not all introverts are afraid of public speaking – a subset of them loves it – but introverts are disproportionately likely to fear the spotlight. that’s ok. as the public speaking trainer charles di cagno says, “there are only a few people in the world who have completely overcome their fears, and they all live in tibet.” if you have stage fright, accept it and learn how to work with it. according to gina barnett, who coaches many ted speakers, if you have trouble calming your mind before a speech, try calming your body first. after all of your preparation, relaxation exercises and affirmations, there’s one thing left to do, and it’s the simplest thing – smile. smile at your audience as they enter the room, and smile at them when you begin speaking.

i have a really complicated relationship to public speaking. once during law school, i got so nervous that i had to bolt for the restroom on the way to class. (i can’t believe i’m admitting this to the entire blogosphere.) the best part is when people tell me afterwards that they negotiated a successful raise or business deal on the strength of something i taught them. my biggest public speaking challenge, however, came about when i was preparing for the publication of my book quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. i gave myself a year to work on becoming the best and bravest speaker i could be. when quiet was about to be published, i wanted to go out and share the ideas in the book as passionately as i could. it’s like training for an olympic event, except that instead of protein shakes and weightlifting, i was getting all the public speaking practice and media training i could.

so i try to look for examples of low-key yet masterful speakers. so i think he’s a great role model for people like me (and you? i’d love to hear.) then i came across this fascinating interview with gladwell. it has nothing to do with extroversion. it’s a performance, and many performers are hugely introverted.” he goes on to say that when he speaks, he’s simply inhabiting a role, “a storytelling role that i don’t inhabit when i’m not on the stage. i think this is liberating—that it’s okay to pretend a little when you’re on stage. you can craft your stories beforehand, practice them, and share them—for the brief moment that the spotlight is on you. but in the meantime, you had the chance to change a whole audience full of hearts and minds.

by susan cain | 3 min read 1) be yourself; good speakers are not necessarily “ naturals.” 2) what do malcolm gladwell do you find public speaking daunting? here, susan cain offers one of her top tips for overcoming fears and bravely be direct. one of the most powerful things an introvert can do for an extrovert who won’t leave them, public speaking for introverts books, public speaking for introverts books, famous introvert public speakers, public introvert and private extrovert, fear of public speaking even in small groups. public speaking is particularly difficult for introverts because it focuses everyone\’s attention on the person speaking. \u201cself-promotion appears unseemly and it strikes [introverts] as crass,\u201d cain says. when she gave her first ted talks, cain says she was outside of her comfort level.

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