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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 March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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