An edited and revised book on public speaking for introverts based on the articles from this site
Taking Your Speaking Forwards
Once you’ve given your first presentation or speech, you’ll be looking to find out how to improve, so that your next presentation goes even better, and you’re ideas can be spread further and wider.
My first suggestion is to practice. Practice Practice Practice. It isn’t only how you get to Carnegie Hall, it is also how you get to be better – at speaking or almost anything else you may care to think off. As you’ve read some of the stories I’ve told, one way you learn is through making mistakes. Where possible, it is nice to make those mistakes in a friendly, forgiving environment. And while your workplace is probably more friendly and forgiving than you might imagine, it is worth looking for other places to practice speaking.
One suggestion is to take public speaking lessons – either one to one, or as part of a small group. My recommendation is to find a teacher who encourages everybody to practise as much as possible during the training, rather than someone who simply teaches from a presentation deck. I’m biased here, but I would recommend you contact
and see how she is able to help you take your public speaking forwards.
Alternatively, for regular practice, repetition and notes on how to improve your speaking, you can’t beat going to meetings of Toastmasters International. Toastmasters groups have helped millions of people, all over the world, improve their public speaking and presentation skills. There is almost certainly a toastmasters group near you who will long to have you as a member. And the pricing is shockingly reasonable – far cheaper than most presentation training courses. You can come out of Toastmasters not only with improves speaking skills, but with widely recognised qualifications and a new group of friends and business contacts.
for more details.
Beyond practicing, you can also look to see how your messages can be carried further. In a very short time, you can get a reputation for writing good speeches – so much so that other people will ask you to help with theirs. This is a great opportunity, as it lets you influence what they are going to say and allows you to communicate with an audience without having to exert yourself socially.
For many introverts the role of being the power behind the throne is much more desirable than always being in the spotlight. So if you can find yourself one or two extraverts who long for the limelight, but don’t like to spend the time researching and writing their speeches, encourage them to work with you. You’ll get a lot of thanks, and you’ll get to do the sort of work you love while remaining peaceful and quiet.
Finally, don’t take on too much. Right now it is possible that you are excited. Your speaking is going well, you are progressing in your career faster than ever before. Everybody wants a piece of you. Remember to relax. Remember to honour your energy. There is only one of you, and you can only do so much. If it means rejecting things, saying no, turning down offers in order to keep your sanity, do it. You are more valuable than your speeches, don’t let yourself get burned out.
And enjoy yourself.
Public speaking can be a pathway to success for introverts, and you’ve taken your first step.