Introverts Can Be Great Speakers. Engagement Is a Must, Not Loud.
Yes, Ramon is loud. An “extrovert”. Often the first to raise his hand. Rarely embarrassed. He’s NOT an introvert.
Audiences around the world talk about how “high-energy” he is.
One of the questions I’m often asked by introverts is, “How can I be a great speaker and still be an introvert”.
You can’t be me, Ramon.
I can’t be you.
However, we can be the best versions of ourselves and both be great speakers.
Being a great speaker is NOT about being loud.
You MUST be engaging, for sure.
Using humor does help as well.
What’s most important is to know your audience and deliver to them what’s best for THEM.
No need to be loud, but you’ve got to be engaging.
I also learned from Michael Port and Amy Port that LEARNING stage presence and how you deliver your presentation are so important. It takes training and hard work.
I worked with the Smart Hustle editorial team to put this together for you.
Boisterous is Not the Key
In a world where being social, loud, and boisterous is celebrated, it’s not always easy being introverted. Oftentimes, introverts are misunderstood and overshadowed by extroverts, and they may be easily overlooked at school, at work, and in social settings. There’s no reason to believe that all introverts are shy or socially anxious, however. Actually, some of the world’s most successful leaders are introverts — like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg. If you embrace the qualities that make you introverted while taking steps to be more engaging with others, you can thrive in many different settings.
What Is an Introvert?
Being an introvert isn’t just about how you feel in social situations; it’s also about how you recharge your batteries when you’re alone. Introverts tend to feel more awake and alive when they’re alone with their thoughts than when they’re with other people. Whereas extroverts tend to thrive on being around other people, introverts need time to themselves to hit their internal “reset” button, especially if they have just spent time in a social setting like a party, a concert, or dinner with friends.
Some people are born introverts, while others become introverted as they grow older and gain real-life experience. If you’re an introvert, you know how it feels to be misunderstood by those who don’t appreciate your quiet nature. Here are some of the qualities of an introvert:
- Introverts may not be able to engage in small talk. While some people see small talk as a social necessity, introverts can find it exhausting.
- Introverts often like having time alone. They also tend to have deep thoughts and emotions that they need time to process and understand.
- Introverts prefer going out with a small group of friends rather than large groups or to parties where there’s a lot of activity and noise going on at once.
- Introverts are likely to think before they speak instead of jumping right in with their opinions like an extrovert might do.
- Introverts tend to be observant about others’ feelings and actions because they’re trying to understand how people react in certain situations or what makes them happy or upset so that they can better relate to them when needed.
Workplace Challenges for Introverts
One of the biggest challenges introverts face is in the workplace. Many introverts struggle with a lack of confidence, feeling intimidated by more extroverted individuals, and feeling pressured to act as if they are extroverts when they are not. As a result, introverts may have a lower chance of working in a high-earning field than extroverts.
Introverts can often be seen as shy or lacking in confidence, but in reality, they are simply quieter by nature. And actually, introverts may thrive in all kinds of environments, especially when it comes to communicating and building relationships. As Harvard Business Review points out, you don’t have to be loud to impress powerful people. In one study that assessed the performance of over 900 CEOs, introverts exceeded their investors’ expectations more often than extroverts did. In addition, introverts often display great leadership skills, even if extroverts are more likely to land top jobs.
Tips for Thriving as an Introvert
If you’re an introvert, you don’t have to change who you are to be successful at work, at home, and in social settings — despite what extroverts might tell you about “coming out of your shell.” Thriving as an introvert simply means being willing to “act the part” when it counts, with the understanding that you can go home later and spend time alone to recharge yourself. In that sense, extroverts aren’t wrong, because you can’t be alone and quiet all the time if you hope to advance in your career and interpersonal relationships. Here are some tips to help you love your introverted self while still stepping outside your comfort zone at the right moments:
Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway
While it might make you anxious to think about leading teams, standing up and speaking in front of a crowd, and hyping up your colleagues or friends, there are times when you might have no other choice. Imagine you’re giving a presentation and trying to convince a room full of investors to give you money; this is not the time to go back into your shell. In the moments when you have to play the part of an extrovert, try to turn up the dial on your voice, your body language, and your facial expressions to convey enthusiasm and excitement.
Find Your Crowd
Introverts often feel uncomfortable at parties and in large groups because there are too many people around them. But as an introvert, you may still need to find ways to enjoy social situations that you’re required to attend. It doesn’t mean you have to be the life of the party or force yourself to be a comedian — or, worse, engage in endless small talk; simply search for ways that allow you to enjoy yourself while still keeping your distance from large groups of people. Seek out one or two people who look interesting and ask them about relatable topics like family, hobbies, and work.
Find Ways to Connect
Introverts need time alone to recharge their batteries, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to interact with people at work. In fact, many introverts naturally enjoy deep conversations with other people and prefer one-on-one meetings over larger meetings or group presentations. If you’re an introvert who feels drained after spending time in large crowds, consider scheduling one-on-one meetings with your employees instead of conducting all-hands staff meetings or hosting large brainstorming sessions. These smaller sessions will help you build the confidence you need to conduct large-group presentations.
Introverts are often stereotyped as shy, lonely people who need to get out more. But this simply isn’t true. Introverts come in all shapes and sizes, from the quiet wallflowers at parties to the ones “acting the part” as the most talkative person in the room. The key to thriving as an introvert is to be yourself, use your time alone wisely, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to be more extroverted when the situation calls for a bigger voice in the room.