Nowadays, it is quite difficult for an introvert to survive in society. The most important reason is that introverts are not gifted when it comes to speaking skills.
This skill can help them to bag a lot of opportunities they might otherwise miss.
Hence, public speaking tips for introverts have opened up new avenues for them.
You’ve got this.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, confidence is key.
But how do you go about getting it? First, accept the fact that no matter how much practice and preparation you undertake, something will inevitably go wrong.
The more mistakes a speaker has made in the past without dying, the easier it is to brush off mistakes in the future.
As a result of this mindset, I have mastered the art of tripping up two steps from my podium and then recovering as though it were nothing (though I still haven’t perfected my “fall and slide on your knees” move).
Speaking from experience: hope for the best but expect the worst.
If everything goes as planned, great! And if not, well—at least you weren’t surprised.”
You don’t have to love it.
You don’t have to love it.
There’s this myth that you’re not good at something unless you love doing it. This is why so many people feel bad about themselves whenever they try something new, whether it’s learning a language or playing an instrument. They think, “I’m not enjoying this. Therefore, I must be no good.” But that’s claptrap. And yet the myth persists, especially when it comes to public speaking.
If you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else with your life but getting up on stage and talking to thousands of people, then great! That’s awesome! If you want to do that every day for the rest of your life and never get tired of it, fantastic!
But if you don’t feel that way about public speaking (and most people DON’T), that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with YOU or with your work. You can still become a successful speaker even if it’s not the only thing in the world that makes you happy—even if it doesn’t make you happy at all.
You don’t need passion or enthusiasm to be good at something; according to some researchers, passion results from being skilled in an activity rather than leading up to skill in an activity (which is counter-intuitive).
In other words: Practice leads to progress leads to passion leads to more progress—not vice versa.
Your audience wants you to succeed.
You’ve probably rehearsed your speech countless times and you may or may not be feeling confident in your abilities as a speaker. You might feel like you’re not good enough, or worry that you won’t say the right words.
During these moments of anxiety, remember that your audience wants to see you succeed.
They want to hear what you have to say and they want to leave the event feeling inspired by both your speech and their experience at the event.
It might help to give yourself a pep talk before taking the stage.
Remind yourself how much work you’ve put into preparing for this moment, how many hours and days you spent researching and crafting your presentation, and how far you’ve come since doubting yourself in front of the mirror.
Your audience will love hearing all that hard work come together in real-time, but only if your hard work shows through in your confidence on stage.
Practice, practice, practice.
In order to conquer your fears, you have to practice. The more you practice, the more confidence you will feel.
There are several things you can do to make sure that your presentation is as polished as possible:
- Practice in front of a mirror: This might seem silly, but it’s the best way to see what gestures and facial expressions you make when talking. It will also help with your posture and positioning.
- Practice in front of friends and family: This is a good way to figure out which parts of your speech need improvement and which parts flow well. Friends and family won’t be afraid to give their honest opinions about how well they think your speech is going.
- Practice in front of a camera: By practicing in front of a camera, you can watch yourself giving the speech later on and catch any mistakes that could cost points during an actual presentation.
- Use a script: If the thought of speaking off-the-cuff scares you, don’t do it! If a teleprompter isn’t available or if it just makes you nervous, write out exactly what you want to say and practice saying it word for word until it sounds natural coming out of your mouth. You can even use cue cards if note cards are too much for your mind to handle at once!
Be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
The key to dealing with the unexpected and preserving your composure is preparation.
If you’re asked to speak at a conference, take the time to go over the event’s schedule in advance.
Know where you need to be and what you’re supposed to do when.
It may also help to bring someone who can help keep track of things, like cueing up your presentation or handing out literature, so your attention can be on other things.
Other than that, try not to get too worked up about it. Just because something unexpected happens doesn’t mean all is lost—in fact, it can actually be an opportunity for you as a speaker! Things happen all the time: equipment malfunctions, audience members get sick and leave, or even speakers miss their cues and have no idea what’s going on.
As long as you don’t let it rattle your nerves too much (and remember that this is normal), there’s no reason why whatever goes wrong shouldn’t just become part of your speech!
Take a moment to calm down.
If you start to feel panicked, take a deep breath and ask the audience to do the same. If that feels like too much of a risk, just breathe normally and take your time before proceeding.
If you’re feeling especially overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to stop and reset—ask for another glass of water or take a moment to look at someone familiar in the audience.
Just try not to pause for more than 10 seconds. You can also use this as an opportunity to reassure your audience that they will be just fine if they go off-script, even if you’re not totally convinced of this yourself (remember: fake it ’til you make it).
Start strong and end strong.
First impressions and last impressions are important. The beginning and end of your speech should be strong because these moments are the most likely to be remembered by the audience.
You want to start strong by drawing the attention of the audience from the first words out of your mouth and leave them wanting more when you finish speaking.
With an engaging start and an inspiring ending, you will have a better chance of keeping the audience’s attention throughout your entire speech.
Remind yourself that it will be over before you know it.
For one thing, it is normal to be nervous. Most people are not natural public speakers and striking up a conversation with a room full of strangers is enough to cause sweaty palms, shaking knees, and a racing heart. Remind yourself that the audience wants you to succeed. They know they are not supposed to judge you harshly and they want you to do well.
If you let your nerves get the best of you, however, they will not be able to support you as much as they would like because they won’t be able to understand what you’re talking about.
Instead of focusing on how nervous or stressed out you feel, focus on your message and try to have fun with it.
This will help keep your mind off yourself and your nerves in check.
Remind yourself that this presentation will end soon—that it could even be over in five minutes if the mood strikes!
Don’t let nerves get in the way of shining!
Taking control of your nerves is a crucial first step to becoming the powerful public speaker you’ve always wanted to be.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Practice until you have every aspect of your presentation down pat. A well-rehearsed speech will give you the confidence boost you need, and allow you to focus more on conveying the essence of your message than on remembering what comes next.
- If nerves begin creeping up mid-speech, take a deep breath and repeat one or two talking points silently in your head. You’ll regain composure quickly, and can get back into the flow of things without missing a beat or losing eye contact with your audience.
For an introvert who has lived life avoiding potentially intimidating situations, these tips may not seem very helpful.
But remember that they’re nothing compared to how much easier public speaking will be when we’re done covering how to make use of an audience’s energy!
One of the best tips for public speaking for introverts is that you should focus on the task at hand.
Speaking in public can be very overwhelming, especially for an introvert who is not used to being in front of a crowd. The consequence of being overwhelmed could very well spell disaster for you if you are not fully aware of your surroundings and the people that are in front of you.
This means learning how to speak without having to think about what everyone else is thinking about you.
It’s easier said than done, but it is definitely possible so long as you practice.