Is Introversion Holding You Back from Speaking?

Some of the most powerful speakers are introverts. 

Perhaps you’ve already heard of introvert Susan Cain or seen her TED talks about her book, Quiet.  She is a powerful speaker and so are other introverts. President Obama, Matt Lauer, David Letterman, Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters all speak and respond well. In the tech world Jonathon Colman has been making a name for himself as a presenter.  Female minister, Deb Potts has as well. But in their private lives they self-identify as introverts. Nonetheless, they each realize the purposefulness public speaking offers them and some have written to motivate other introverts, like themselves, in the freeing nature of public speaking.

Having a similar experience, I, too, have made it my mission to help introverts speak with confidence, positioning my support toward the 64% of attorneys, who on average are introverts. I know what being held back from speaking does – it limits our effectiveness, weakens our resolve and sends a message that we are less than capable.

That message couldn’t be farther from the truth.

We introverts have incredible value to those around us, starting with our thoughtful approach to processing information, to understanding ourselves as well as reflecting on to clarify meaningful concepts. Just like extroverts, we are wonderfully designed to be of value. First for ourselves as we continue our reflection, study and desire to understand the world around us. Secondly to others as we speak to share our reflections and request it of others. This is how we  fulfill the gospel of our usefulness.

Is introversion holding you back from public speaking? The answer needs to be no.

I used to hold myself back when I started out as an entrepreneur. I was afraid to learn sales, thinking it would make me offensive. I avoided networking, thinking I would be pushing myself on others. Just like with public speaking, when I focused on myself, I got nervous and doubted my abilities. But when I looked out and connected to individuals around me, I was able to relax into enjoying meaningful experiences. I could more easily discuss how my clients reached out to me because of issues they had and how they enjoyed hope and confidence afterwards. My speaking shifted from being uncomfortable and offensive to being meaningful.

Whenever I shift my focus to those I could help instead of to myself as an incapable speaker, I am freed. Interestingly as a result, my speaking abilities improve and I live my two-fold purpose.

Don’t let introversion hold you back from public speaking. I promise you that you, too, can experience the freeing power of public speaking, and of purpose. Decide to shift your focus from yourself to those around you and speak.

Keep these things in mind:

  1. Continue to be thoughtful about your topic.
  2. Connect to one person while sharing a thought. Look at someone else when you’re ready.
  3. See the value of being where you are at that particular time by speaking up and letting others do the same.
  4. Learn from other introverts.


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On July 21st, 2014, posted in: focus, purpose by