Public Speaking for Introverts

So, you have to make a pubic speech. Whether it is for school, or work or something different, many introverts have found themselves in this same situation. So what do you do ? Freak out that you have to get up in front of a bunch of people who you may or may not know, and talk for a while, no matter how long you have to be up there , it can seem like torture.

But, there are things you can do to make it easier. Yes, I know what you are thinking, you can’t hop on the bus out of town and skip the whole thing.

Its not all that bad, in fact introverts can be some of the best public speakers.

The key is to prepare, prepare and prepare !

I used to have weekly meetings where all the upper management would be there and I had to present my agenda. At first it was daunting, being right out of college, and having to present an something to a bunch of seasoned professionals.

I saw one of my co workers go into the meeting un prepared, he was late, didn’t remember what the plan was, he didn’t have his paperwork in order. I watched the management tear him to shreds, it was not a good day for him. I was not going to let that happen to me. Long before each meeting I would go over my plan, have all the paperwork printed out ahead of time( you know in case the printer decided to go all Office Space right before the meeting). I would go over and over all my materials, and try and think of every angle that could be asked. There were certain people who would not question me, but there were others that would want to know every little detail. I prepared every detail, every angle, tried to think of every question that could possibly be asked. I had an answer or plan for every single one, I didn’t want to be caught off guard.

Practice , and preparation are the key to a good pubic speech or meeting. Find someone who you can can be your audience, who can play the devils advocate. Make notes, but you should strive not to rely on them, keep them as a reference in case of a brain fart, or someone asks a question to throw you off topic.

Try to involve the audience at some point. Ask someone in the front row their name, and involve them a little bit, I find this helps you relate to audience, even if you are speaking to a complete group of strangers.

I still don’t enjoy pubic speaking, and I probably never will, but I can do it if I need to, and so can you. Its not as bad as you think, and the more you do it, the easier it will get. Once its over, you can breathe a sigh of relief.