Susan Cain, as reported in Fast Company, says that introverts can be great presenters too.
Drake Baer, the Fast Company reporter, writes that Cain, an introvert at root, had been thrust into presenting through her work Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
Cain, as reported by Baer, offers five tips for introverts who must present. Those tips, paraphrased and explained by this Examiner, follow.
Tip 1. Desensitize yourself
Cain, according to Baer, recommends thinking of presentation jitters as similar to a flu or virus you have to get an inoculation for. She recommends starting with smaller events through organizations like Toastmasters. For tips on overcoming the five fears of public speaking click here.
Tip 2. Align your persona
Baer reports Cain as saying that fear doesn’t come from having to communicating but from context. To stay in context, make your stage persona as authentic as possible. It then becomes easier to stay in “character” because you know who that character is. For more information on developing a persona when instructing click here.
Tip 3. Be yourself
Cain, according to Baer, suggests that you do not have to become an extrovert to present effectively. With your persona aligned with who you are, hone in on delivering the best of you. Whatever makes you funny, engaging or interesting in real life will work on the platform too. For an example of a great training role model click here.
Tip 4. Have a conversation
Baer reports Cain as explaining that, where a monologue can be intimidating, a dialog is less so. By thinking of your presentation as a conversation with your audience you can remove some of the pressure you feel. You can also get your participants more involved and more likely to learn. For a four-step model to encourage learner conversations click here.
Tip 5. Have passion
Finally, Cain discusses passion. Baer writes that Cain, while acknowledging that passion is somewhat overused advice, it is nevertheless true that when you believe deeply in your topic, your sincerity, focus and commitment shine through. Your presentation focus shifts in from you to your content and that shift takes pressure off of you. For an explanation of why passion is so important click here.
Cain’s own life experience, and that of this Examiner too, suggests that introverts can be effective speakers if you allow the real you to shine through. Then you, as Cain says, find your voice.