Public Speaking for Introverts: Harnessing Your Strengths on the Stage

Feb 13, 2024By Joan Tan
Joan Tan

Public speaking is a vital skill, yet it often presents challenges, particularly for introverted individuals. For many, it requires months or even years of practice to feel comfortable addressing a crowd.

While mastering public speaking may be daunting, it's certainly achievable. This post highlights the significance of public speaking and offers guidance on how introverts can thrive in this realm, ultimately overcoming shyness.

Why is public speaking important?

It is important to note that public speaking does not only mean standing and talking in front of a large crowd. Talking in a team meeting or participating in class can also be considered public speaking. 

Hence, public speaking is an essential skill to learn and master because we use it in our everyday lives. The three types of public speaking that we use daily are informative, persuasive, and entertaining.

If you are an introvert, you may find one of these, if not all, public speaking types challenging. Perhaps knowing their importance may help you gain the courage to improve your public speaking skills.

Informative Speaking

As its name suggests, informative speaking aims to inform or share knowledge with the audience. Why is informative speaking important in your life?

You use informative speaking when you’re giving instructions or sharing knowledge about a certain topic you’re passionate about. Even simple errands, such as ordering food or telling the driver where to drop you off, use informative speaking.

Informative speaking is one of the most basic types of speaking. Hence, it is important to know how to talk to people effectively and how to get your message across easily.

Persuasive Speaking

Persuasive speaking aims to persuade, convince, or motivate others. You can use persuasive speaking when you’re talking to as little as one person in a whole crowd.

When do we use persuasive speaking? You do so when you’re trying to convince someone to accompany you somewhere. In school, students use persuasive speaking when bargaining deadlines with teachers. In politics, persuasive speaking is used when politicians ask for the people’s votes.

Persuasive speaking, once mastered, can be rewarding both personally and professionally.

Entertaining Speaking

Are you someone who is forced to attend social events? Then it’s time for you to master entertaining speaking.

When does entertaining speaking usually take place? This type of public speaking happens when your friends make a toast for a special occasion or accept an award. Speaking is also entertaining when you’re cracking jokes with your friends.

What do introverts have to do to improve in public speaking? 

The skill of speaking confidently in public does not come naturally to many people. Moreover, it may even take more time to hone this skill if you’re an introvert or if you’re shy.

If you’re an introvert, read on to learn how you can improve your public speaking skills.

Practice As Much As You Can

Public speaking is a skill; hence, anyone can learn it. And what is the easiest way to be good at a skill? Practice and repetition. 

Practicing means you repeat a process until it becomes ingrained in you, like a habit. Hence, when you practice speaking in front of a crowd, learning becomes more permanent. This also means that as long as you continue practicing, public speaking will eventually come naturally to you. 

Unsure how to start practicing? If you are starting out, you can rehearse in front of a mirror. When you’re more comfortable, you can practice in front of your friends and family and seek feedback. Their comments should help you improve.

If you’re into self-assessment, you can record yourself speaking in front of a fake crowd, such as your stuffed animals.

Speaking to a small crowd, such as in a team meeting or participating in class, can be practiced for, too. For instance, one can try practicing sample daily conversations at home. You’ll surely be able to strike up a conversation with your peers, colleagues, or classmates in no time.

Treat Public Speaking As It Is — A Performance

When you speak in front of a crowd, you can consider it a performance. However, just because it’s a performance doesn’t mean that you should force yourself to be something that you’re not.

Public speaking being a performance may simply be related to the saying, “Fake it till you make it.” Think of a time when you feel the most confident, powerful, and comfortable. Try to channel that same energy when you’re speaking in front of a crowd.

Stay true to yourself and leverage your personality when you deliver your speech or presentation. As long as you’re not offending anyone intentionally, your audience will appreciate how authentically you act and speak on stage.

Come Out of Your Comfort Zone and Seek Like-Minded People

For most introverts, approaching people to ask for help may be a tall order. However, for you to grow as a person and to improve in public speaking, you must seek like-minded individuals.

You can join an organization or group where people are encouraged to speak. This must be an organization you’re comfortable with. It would help if you already knew someone from the group to help you integrate and socialize.

When you meet people, take their feedback and use it to improve yourself. This is why it is important to find a group where everyone supports each other and where you are encouraged to learn from your mistakes.

We understand that going out of your comfort zone as an introvert and socializing with like-minded people is not easy. However, there is a higher chance of growth outside of your comfort zone.

Choose Material that You’re Familiar With

There’s nothing more terrifying than crumbling in front of a crowd because you forgot your material. This is why, when you’re still starting out, it is beneficial to choose material or topics that you’re familiar with.

This way, you can relate to your topic on a personal level. Naturally, it will be easier for you to touch your audience’s hearts as well.

Manage Your Nervousness

Getting nervous before, during, or after speaking in public is not something to be ashamed of. Even the most confident people get nervous too. 

However, if you want to excel in public speaking, be equipped with the knowledge of how to manage your nervousness. You can calm your nerves before the performance by folding laundry, cleaning, walking around, and more. 

You should also master and manage your breathing so you don’t easily run out of breath when you’re nervous onstage.

Closing Thoughts

Public speaking can be challenging, but it is surely worth the effort in the long run. Being comfortable with public speaking will make it easier for you to socialize and communicate with others. Hence, if you are an introvert, going outside your comfort zone to improve your public speaking skills is already a huge feat.

At the School of Confidence, we help introverts and extroverts alike unlock their full potential for public speaking and communication. Contact us today for us to bring you on a journey of true self-expression, confidence, and more!