The Shy Person’s Guide To Overcoming Stage Fright And Speaking In Public
8 out of every 10 student in our public speaking school admit that they seriously doubt if introverts can make good public speakers.
And they are very wrong!
An Introvert is a person who remains isolated, or enjoys the company of few closed ones. They are calm, reserved and do not open up easily to other people.
Because of their natural tendency to want to keep a private lifestyle, introverts are often shy about standing and speaking in public.
When they stay among their friends, they can speak. When they are in familiar places, they tend to share their opinion freely but whenever they get to stand in front of strangers, many introverts get so nervous they’d rather die than get on stage to speak.
The question today is: can introverts make good stage speakers? If yes, how?
First of all, being introverted is not a disadvantage.
In fact, when it comes to communication, being introverted is more of an advantage than being extroverted.
Introverts are more empathic than extroverts. Empathy is one of the greatest keys to communicating with people in a very effective way.
Introverts are very sensitive and intuitive. They can easily feel and connect emotionally with the audience emotion and thoughts.
Extroverts tend to be too carefree and bear a little sense of sensitivity. In fact some extroverts (like Cholerics) see “sensitivity” as a form of weakness.
Extroverts generally outgoing and outspoken; they enjoy being around and talking to people. They tend to love taking public actions or doing things.
These are good qualities but they can often lead to communication blunders.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Talking too much does not make you a good communicator. You can be a talkative person yet bore people to death with dry jokes and dead points.
Being a talkative person is not even a “virtue” unless you’re bringing something valuable every time you open your god damn mouth.
Lesson: Introverts don’t have to become talkative people to be able to communicate.
Good communication is not by the number of words used all at once but by the quality of ideas passed and how valuable it is to the listeners.
Extroverts need to learn to think of communication more as “a way to connect with people” not to “impress on them”
A little sensitivity to peoples’ pain, circumstances and feelings may help than hurt.
- Too much attention and desperation for public attention destroys ingenuity. If you, like most extroverts do, focus too much on getting public attention, you will soon run dry. You will lose your sense of authenticity.
You will do or say what people want to hear because you’re more interested in their impression than on your unique ideas.
Lesson: introverts could easily come up with unique and powerful ideas because they spend more time alone – thinking.
The greatest problem of the introvert is their self judgment — obsession with their self and what people may be saying or thinking about them while they’re speaking.
The introvert needs to learn to focus more on what they’re speaking on and not on what people may be thinking about them. They should accept that people in the audience are not always as judgmental as they are thinking.
- Public speaking is a skill, just like driving, cooking, love making or painting.
Anyone with a little hunger and coaching can learn these things very easily.
Whether you are extrovert or introvert, you have what it takes to become great a speaker so what matters most is how we, as individuals, decide to tackle our desire to speak on stage. Are we leaving it to chance or, are we taking proactive measures to improve on it?
- Boredom is not a temperament thing. Especially if we’re talking about being boring on stage or in little meetings – it’s not caused by temperament, it is caused by negligence.
When people neglect to connect with people at events, neglect to read one or two things for the purpose of connecting with someone new, or neglect to hold a little chat with that other person by the end of the seat, that leads to boredom.
Everyone can learn to spice up their speech in order to connect with people and not bore them.
5 ways introverts can become great public speakers
- Embrace your personality. From my experience as an expert speech and presentation coach, when people struggle with who they are, they make more silly mistakes. A lot happens when we accept ourselves for who we are.
When we accept ourselves, and love ourselves, our motivation for growth will then be driven by love not hate. We will see the process as a worthy step not a burden to be lifted.
When we accept ourselves, our uniqueness finds expression. When we accept ourselves and love ourselves for how we are, we become more authentic in our approach to life. This gives us power and character that aligns with our deepest core.
But when we force ourselves to change, we become freaks; we struggles instead of enjoy the process.
Say with me, “I love the way I am. And I will become a much better version of me!”
- Discover where your strength lies. Extroverts draw strength from the presence of others – introverts usually draw their strength in their own loneliness or quiet time.
So don’t rush off hoping to find your vibe in the crowed like your friend Danny. You’re different. Give yourself the privacy you need to draw on your inner strength. Take a walk, mediate, pray or do whatever that empowers you to speak with power.
Once you discover where your strength lies, build on it. If you always need more preparation, then endeavor to give yourself enough preparation.
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- Cut yourself some slack. Some introverts are perfectionist. Many of them are too critical of themselves, and that is the real problem.
Stop being too hard on yourself—you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to get it 100% right. Contrary to popular opinion, people don’t even like connecting with people who seem perfect. We live in an imperfect world, we want to relate with human beings not perfect people.
So yes, ease up a little and understand that it’s okay to not be or feel so prepared. Understand that it’s okay to not get nervous, it’s okay to feel like you don’t have enough to say, it’s okay to feel like the other speakers would do better than you – keep the competition out of your head and focus on the most important thing: delivering your message in your own unique way.
- Stop playing the judge – you can never make a good speaker if you’re always judging yourself.
Do you always feel like people are judging your hair, clothe or gestures on stage? Well, that’s because you’re judging yourself.
Many introverts would make great speakers if only they’d stop being too critical of themselves (and others).
This does not mean you shouldn’t have a standard for yourself – but it means you should never be the one condemning your every move.
Your focus should be on two things:
- Being of help to the audience.
- Through a well prepared message.
Not on yourself – your lack or your abundance.
- Get a professional speech training or coach.
A speech training is very essential to becoming a great orator. Both extroverts and introverts will need training to becoming good speakers who can command the stage and influence people through their message.
At the end of the day, what will make the difference between our ability to speak on stage is not our temperaments but how much we have invested into the development of our ability to speak and communicate.
Investing in a quality presentation and public speaking training will change your life in 3 good ways:
- You will have a professional attend to you personally. Everybody is not the same. What works for Simon might not work for John. There’s no one size fits all solution for life. So when you go for quality training like the one we provide you will have the opportunity to be assessed by a professional who may recommend special ways for you to become a great communicator.
- You will get ample opportunity to practice and rehearse in front of a live audience.
This is one of the fastest and most reliable way to overcome stage fright and become a great speaker – speak in front of people.
Do it again and again.
That is why in our academy, you will be provided with the opportunity to speak in front of a live audience and get feedback from the audience, your course mates and your trainers.
See why our public speaking is the best for you.
- You will learn in a conducive and encouraging environment.
A good public speaking school provides an audience that is very understanding and encouraging.
You won’t have to be afraid of being mocked. People will love you, encourage you (with lots of hug) and even volunteer to help you master some aspects you may be finding difficult.
All of these are things that are obtainable 100% in our public speaking academy here in Lagos.
Would you like to attend our free public speaking training before you register for our certificate program?
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