Getting the Introvert into Practice

In Cypris Chat I ran across an article on Readers’ Theatre Circle written by Professor Merryman. In the article Merryman focuses on the exploratory activity of gathering folks together to read aloud cinema scripts, focusing on intonation, timing and other conversational and improvisational elements. As a theatre director and performer, I recall doing similar things and getting such creative insight as a result.

Of late, I made use of a variation on the activity to build my confidence prior to presenting a teleseminar.

I was nervous about this first-time experience. Advertised as a 40-minute time block including 10 minutes of Q & A, I wanted to be sure to hit the timing element acurately with the main points I had advertised. Knowing I tend to ramble and get off topic, it was imperative I outline and then script out my presentation.

With the script I could also do something else my introvert nature usually keeps me from doing – practice picking up my pace. The seminar had no visual elements other than the  pictures I painted with my wording. And with my naturally slower conversational style, listeners may quickly get bored and focus elsewhere or just hang up. I wanted to keep them engaged, so I had to practice my delivery, forcing a level of energy into my delivery that would create engagement.

Through my rehearsal process I adjusted the script as well as the delivery until I couldn’t wait for the event to happen. What a shift this was for me – from anxiety to enthusiasm! It only took me three times to practice running through the entire script, and what a confidence builder it was.

Later, while getting feedback from a few listeners, I learned of their amazement that I had never conducted a teleseminar before. They had no idea I was using a script based on the conversational style, and when I shared my tendency to speak slowly, they thought my pacing really hit the mark. Yes! Anything worth trying is worth first practicing, especially when it comes to speaking. And for us introverts, scripting out the flow and testing the delivery will give us the boost we need. As in the reader’s circle above, it’s a chance to gain some practice, have some fun and if we include others in the rehearsal, to get great feedback.

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On November 14th, 2011, posted in: flow, introverts, practice, public speaking by