In our lifetime, we are expected to produce output after output and do a myriad of tasks as students and employees. Unfortunately, one of those tasks could be conducting a speech in front of a crowd or presenting a topic you’re forced to defend. No one is a stranger to speech anxiety as there are around 75% of people who have it (20 million Americans!), with 7% of the global population possessing some form of anxiety disorder. If you’re one of those people who experience the familiar butterflies and panic attacks before a speech, there are indeed introverts who have given memorable lectures, such as Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and Susan Cain (who I’ll get to in a bit).
An Introvert on a World Stage
Susan Cain, author of the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” admits that as an introvert herself, public speaking can indeed be a daunting and tiring task, especially when asked to do a TED talk in 2012 titled “The Power Of Introverts.” Her speech gained more than 17 million viewers and went through the various skills that introverts possess. Today, she has become accustomed to giving such talks. However, that wasn’t always the case; she used to fear the idea of public speaking. Cain says that it is essential for introverts to step outside their comfort zone and learn to take on roles of leadership, with her personal experience as an example.
After writing her book for the past seven years before her talk, Cain suddenly had to learn to speak in front of crowds about being an introvert. Can you feel the irony? Cain recommends practicing in small support groups. She also encourages people to look at public speaking from another point of view, aside from the traditional notion that people connect it with high levels of extroversion and leadership. Introverts, however, are leaders in their own right by not acting like extroverts. She emphasizes that it becomes more manageable by being secure in who you are.
You might want to learn how to become a more effective public speaker and not just rush through your presentation, as it will clearly show your nervousness and fear. Instead, you want to be someone who educates people and knows what they’re talking about. Remember to look good, practice your articulation, and maybe get dental implants in West Valley, Utah, to improve your smile. Your speech is about to begin, and your audience is waiting for you.
Practice at least an hour for each minute of your speech. You read that right. More practice time does not mean sounding more robotic, but memorizing your presentation word per word does! For beginners, an outline of the speech can help keep things organized. Consider your flow, structure, and the message that you want to give your audience. If you have visual aids, use them appropriately and seamlessly.
Minutes before your presentation, you might have a lot of energy. Take a walk outside or do some physical activities to keep your nerves in check before the presentation.
While extroverts enjoy public attention, it can be a nightmare for introverts. Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on what the audience wants to hear. Even though you’re the only person talking, remember that the content of your speech is more important. Avoid focusing on how you look and what you do on stage.
Moreover, instead of conditioning your mind to talk in front of a crowd, pretend that you’re speaking to someone one-on-one. This makes the discussion more lively and intimate. Find some friendly fans and maintain eye contact. Do this for a minute or so and move on to the next. With practice, you’ll develop confidence in your topic and yourself.
Learning to Love Public Speaking
An introvert such as yourself might find public speaking difficult. Communication is an essential part of our lives, and public speaking can be an outlet for people to be heard and recognized, even if you’re introverted.
Meta Title: An Introvert’s Perspective: Overcoming Stage Fright and Embracing the Crowd
Meta Description: No one can avoid public speaking. If you dislike the idea of sharing your thoughts with a crowd, here are some helpful pointers.