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Exclusively For Introverts – 10 Powerful Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Exclusively For Introverts – 10 Powerful Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

You are an introvert, you know that, already. You dread the day when you stand in front of an audience even if the size is just 5 breathing souls and a dog. As a matter of fact, just the thought of it makes you cringe and want to go hiding. But, chances are, if you want to promote your business to the next level, you’ll have to stand in front of a podium once, or twice.

That’s the very reason why we’re discussing this topic today. You need to eradicate the fear, and focus on how you can deliver your speech in an effective manner. It might not be perfect like some people will expect, but, the important thing is — you can deliver the goods. Yes, you’re shy and nervous, but with some tips, you might even enjoy the talk yourself, and learn some things you can’t get from other experiences.

Below is a post from the site growing your biz which can help you weather the storm that is public speaking. (If that’s the way you look at it).

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As a micro business owner, you are the ambassador of your brand, and chances are if you want to be successful, you’re going to have to stand behind a podium or two in your career. But if you are an introvert, and the very thought of speaking to a group of people makes you want to hide, what should you do? In truth, people who are fantastic public speakers are not super human, they simply work hard and know how to emphasize what they already do well. You can do this, too!

Below are 10 public speaking tips for introverts that can dramatically change your experience for the better:

1. Preparation is key.

Spend time putting your speech together so that it flows logically and is made more vibrant with stories, examples, and props, such as images. For inspiration, try watching other great, yet relatable, speakers on video. You may even want to read the transcripts to see how they crafted their speeches. When it’s all done, practice saying your speech out loud until you can give it over fluidly and comfortably.

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2. Accentuate the positive.

Get in touch with your strengths and weaknesses as a public speaker. Don’t try to change yourself or be something you’re not. Focus on what you do best- whether you have a great sense of humor, or you’re a good story teller, or you know how clearly break down and explain complex ideas.

3. Invest in your audience.

Think about what your audience wants to hear. What problem do they hope to solve? What hopes do they have? Give them what they want and need. You’re audience needs to have a reason to listen. In your opening remarks strive to relate to them and focus on relaying not just your message, but the reasons why they need and should want to know about it.

4. Get in touch with your on-stage persona. 

No matter how you slice it, public speaking is a performance. Even if acting is not something that comes naturally to you, you should try to get in touch with your on-stage persona. In the process, you may discover a more extroverted part of yourself that you didn’t know was there, and the whole experience can end up feeling liberating and exhilarating instead of anxiety-ridden.

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5. Get comfortable with the environment.

Check out the location where you will be speaking before the event happens. It will help you to feel more comfortable and secure when the big day arrives. Another suggestion would be to plant a few supportive friends or family members in the audience who can throw you an encouraging look or two as you are presenting. Just realize that you may get so caught up in the speech that you may not actually see them! Still, it could be a comfort to have them there.

6. Pay attention to your appearance.

Be sure not to overlook a key confidence booster on the day of your speech: your attire. Think about how great you feel when you’re groomed and crisp in your favorite tailored outfit; when you look great, you feel great. On the other hand, if causal dress is allowed, maybe that will make you feel more comfortable and engaging. Audiences will initially judge you based solely on your appearance, so make an effort to dress in a way that conveys the messages you want to.

7. Start with a smile.

Research has shown that the act of smiling- even artificially- can actually make a person feel more happy and at ease. So, put a big smile on your face when you begin speaking. Many people in the audience will probably smile back at you, too. This will make you feel relaxed, confident, and connected.

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8. Start off with a story. 

A story is a great way to get your speech going. Not only does it have the potential to peak initial interest, but it can also help set your audience in time, place and mood. Emotions are the touchstones to speech success, so tug on a string of feelings to get your audience invested early on. Also, wrapping up your speech with an afterthought on your opening story is a nice way to bring the experience around full circle while providing a satisfying close for your audience.

9. Let others do the talking.

Keep the communicative theme going and consider asking questions directly to your audience. Not only will asking questions to the crowd get you some active participants, but it will help ease any nerves you have by sharing the spotlight. If time allows for it, consider preparing a role-play scenario that, through audience participation, could exemplify one of your points in real time.

10. Schedule some down time.

Public speaking can be a serious energy drain especially if you are an introvert. So one of the most important public speaking tips for introverts is to make sure you’ve got some alone time scheduled both before and after an event that will allow you to recharge and process the experience.

Have some public speaking tips for introverts of your own? Share it with us in the comments below.

10 Powerful Public Speaking Tips for Introverts | Kelly Gregorio, Kelly writes about topics that affect small businesses and entrepreneurs while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances. First published by Growing Your Biz with Head Honcho Susan Brown.

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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