Introverts: Why fear public speaking?

podiumIf you’re an introvert who must give a speech, seize the opportunity. Start by going online and viewing videos of speakers taken from their vantage point.

This helps you visualize what it’s like to look out at a sea of people. TED talks often position cameras on stage so that you can see what the speaker sees.

It also helps to get acquainted with the room where you’ll speak. Arrive early and get comfortable standing at the podium. If possible, deliver your speech aloud where you’ll give it.

Whenever you see great speakers (either in person or via online clips), obtain a transcript of their speech. Analyze how they structure their talks, such as the connection between the introduction and conclusion and their use of evidence or experience to support their claims.

Don’t keep reminding yourself of how much you dread public speaking. Instead, focus on what you do well and harness it. Example: If you’re a precise, scientific thinker, lace your remarks with “fun facts” and other interesting tidbits.

At the same time, acknowledge what you don’t do well and avoid it. If you’re not particularly funny, skip the jokes. If you feel stiff reading from notes, devote more time to engaging in Q&A or interacting with the audience.

— Adapted from “10 Public Speaking Tips for In­­­­tro­­­­verts,” Susan Cain.