Quiet Speaking: Public Speaking for the Introverted

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I am that weird person who really enjoys public speaking. I know, crazy, but I was never afraid of standing in front of a crowd and speaking. Yes, I get nervous, and as an introvert interacting with other people can be very uncomfortable, but I still do it willingly and happily. And I believe everyone can become a great public speaker, even the quiet and introverted. If you are also introverted, or just need some helpful tips with speaking, this is the post for you.

No One Knows If You Mess Up

Unless you show it. Seriously, they don’t know what you planned and practiced, so they will only know that you messed up if you let it show. My dad aught me this after I made some mistake in a dance recital as a kid, because he honestly didn’t know I made one except by my reaction post performance. This mindset literally changes everything.

Outline, Don’t Script

0.jpgWhen I did my first ever speech in public (my high school graduation seen in that photo), it was completely scripted. I read it word for word out of a binder on a podium. And this was in front of approx. 4,000 people. It was more difficult to read the damn thing out of the binder and look naturally than if I improved it. When you are scripted, you have way more pressure to be perfect and it is harder to actually perform. If you feel you do need something in front of you, just have an outline and your key points, so you know where to take the speech but can still be open to changes.

Take A Break

I make the majority of my public speaking moments interactive. This works well because a) people pay more attention to something when it is interactive and b) it gives you a break from speaking. Whether I throw in a video or an activity, it gives me a chance to take a break, catch my breath, drink some water, and get ready to finish the rest of the speech. Having something set to give you a temporary out helps keep you focused and eases the stress of public speaking.

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Learn To Perform

I am 99.9% sure the reason I am comfortable public speaking, even as an introvert, is because I have been participating in performing arts since I was 5 years old. That’s  17 years. Getting in front of people on a stage became natural and normal from all f those years of practice and performing. So if you don’t have that amount of experience doing it, take some classes in acting or push yourself a little bit at a time. Performing and public speaking both require switching yourself on in order to do what you need to, so getting that practice somewhere really helps in the future.

What’s one topic you’d love to speak about? Let me know in the comments!

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4 Replies to “Quiet Speaking: Public Speaking for the Introverted”

  1. I’m glad to see these tips! I am terrified at public speaking. When I took it in college, I hated that class even more than my accounting class (which is saying a lot because i hate math)… In my current job, I sometimes need to do public speaking… I’ve only slightly gotten used to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. [Found you at the Community Pool] Introverts may find some comfort in a couple of years of Toastmasters. You got lots of practice there. I’m not sure why some people are so afraid of speaking in public. In my opinion, every time we open our mouths to other people, we are speaking in public. Semantics right? We are living on the stage of life. I’m no introvert. I love talking period, so public speaking is no biggie. I do like to be prepared, and know what I’m going to say in advance. Extemporaneous speaking may come a calling however. I suppose I’ve lived long enough to pull that off as well. I have done! I enjoy inspirational speaking. I do my share. What I like best however is speaking to senior citizens. I mostly speak about memory issues. I also facilitate groups where we just converse. The more you practice, the more permanent the skill of public speaking becomes. As for you, I can imagine you braving some topic on the TED stage. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?!

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