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Can Introverts be Good at Public Speaking and Communication?

Can Introverts be Good at Public Speaking and Communication?

Public speaking is an art of communicating your thoughts effectively to others. In my opinion, being an introvert or extrovert has its own advantages in public speaking. I believe both have different personalities and hence they have varied styles of presentation. All that really matters is strong content and authenticity, while the rest are just contributing factors.

Introverts as we all know, generally, prefer being left in their own world. They are not very good at interacting with people which in fact works as an advantage to them in this context. Their lack of comfort in being conversational stays like a knife over their head, preventing them from getting overconfident. Preparation is the key for a public speaker, and since introverts are incredibly cautious about what they speak and carry an air of being reserved, they are extra careful about coming extra prepared! Their preparation reflects in the speech and ensures that their speech is well-thought-out and eloquent. One can be assured that an introvert will never wreck a speech due to lack of preparedness!

Another stronghold of an introvert is that they also have a strong sense of service. They will view speaking as a form of service - as their way of imparting knowledge to the listener. This service-oriented nature of theirs, nudges them to know their audience better and to always keep in mind that the content they deliver must be useful to the audience. Public Speaking is an art where like any other form of art, it needs to enlighten the audience. The limelight is not on the speaker but must be directed on the needs of one's listeners. The goal must be to convey the topic in discussion not in a way that appeals to the speaker but in a way that it evokes an emotion in the minds of the audience or a strong sense of necessity to take action to bring about some change. This is something that introverts need no extra reminder of. They are always aware, thanks to their innate nature to serve that public speaking is about the audience and not about them.

An important aspect of public speaking along with keeping the content crafted specifically for your audience is to make them feel like they are given one on one attention. Since introverts are naturally comfortable in one on one or small group conversations than in large settings, they can use this attribute to their advantage. Although this sounds contradictory, introverts can concentrate on small groups of the audience every once in a while, rather than looking at them as one big room filled with people! Compartmentalizing their attention on smaller groups work like magic for introverts as they feel more comfortable delivering the speech and every part of the audience in the room feels included like they are a part of the "conversation" and not the speech!

Maya Angelou made this famous statement, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel." Nothing is more precise to describe the art of speaking. Now, how do introverts work this out to their advantage? Well, introverts are known to take energy from their alone time, from within. They live in their bubble, and the external environment rarely gets to them. When they go on stage, irrespective of the energy of the audience, introverts can manage to remain calm and composed. If well channelled, they can also transmute this into positive energy and light up the audience. Their ability to stay sheathed from the external commotion allows them to not only stay put and focused during the speech, but can also turn the tide for the whole bunch of listeners and change how they "feel", as Maya Angelou said, leaving the audience with a memorable speech to remember.

Finally, introverts are also the kind of people who do not believe in beating around the bush. This may be coming from their aversion to speaking too much. They never speak more than required, and when they do, it will more often than not, be spoken only due to some reason they deem necessary that needed to be addressed. This, in fact, serves as a plus point when introverts focus on the core message of the speech. They usually never go off-track and always ensure they speak content that adds value to others' lives. They dig deep into the topic, construing different views that many people generally tend to miss. They focus on gaining as much information as possible and mould their speech such that it is pumped with lessons and takeaways rather than lacing a speech with mere feel-good adjectives.

From Mahatma Gandhi to Barack Obama, our world has seen immensely powerful speeches coming from introverts, shaking people from within and brought about such dynamic impacts that changed the course of history forever. What better examples do we need as proof that introverts can indeed become very impactful public speakers?!

About the Author

Sanjana Nair is a Learning and Development Evangelist who took a detour from a blue-chip IT firm to make a mark as a learning and development specialist at a startup, Future Impact Learning. She is a passionate content writer and an ace public speaking facilitator for the senior students.