Are you an introvert who’s terrified of public speaking?
If you answered “yes,” I have good news for you:
The idea that public speaking is an extroverted activity is a complete myth, and here’s why.
As a professional speaker, most of the stuff I do, I do ALONE!
Writing a script? I do it alone. Creating the slides? I do it alone. Hours and hours of practicing? I do it alone. I spend more time preparing for my speech, alone, than I do standing in front of an audience. (For a full list of what I do with my time, check out my blog, “What Do Professional Speakers Do In Their Free Time?”)
So, if you’re an introvert, thinking, “Oh my gosh, I’ll never be good at public speaking because I’m not an extrovert!” I would argue that you’ll probably fare better.
As a public speaker, the bulk of your work is done behind closed doors. While this is a nightmare for most extroverts, it’s a dream for introverts! They thrive in environments where they can write and practice independently.
Take me for example.
I consider myself to be an ambivert—a cross between an introvert and extrovert—but I lean towards the extroverted side. This means that sometimes, all that writing and practicing behind closed doors can be a little painful and tedious for me. I’d rather be up on stage in front of people!
This means introverts actually have a huge advantage, because you’re willing to dive headfirst into the preparation process. While extroverts might be tempted to gloss over the hours and hours of practice, you have the ability to spend all the time you need on writing, practicing, and preparing for the best speech of your life.
And yes—there will obviously be times you need to get up on stage.
This may be nerve-wracking but think about it—for every 1 hour you spend on stage, you spend 10-20 hours preparing for it. Alone. In fact, it ends up being an ideal job for an introvert!
My advice for you is this:
Embrace your introvertedness. Celebrate that that’s how you were created. And learn to harness your strengths (i.e. being able to spend hours and hours prepping) to become an incredible public speaker.
Moral of the story? As an introvert, you’ve got the DNA to own the stage!