Reasons to pursue public speaking as an introvert

Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Public speaking can conjure up fear and loathing just thinking about the phrase. After all, it has been constantly polled as one of the top phobias worldwide.

Yet, despite this, it provides a plethora of opportunities for those of you like me who are introverts.

Public speaking can be daunting, with speaking to vast amounts of people and being in the spotlight for attention. Normally if you would see me on the streets or meet me for the first time, I’m incredibly shy and won’t say much. As someone who suffers from anxiety, it can have an effect on my concentration and memory and in turn my ability to speak up. It’s even worse when I’m in a group of people, whereby you have to pries words from me. It can be exhausting and make me feel like I haven’t got anything interesting to say.

However, I find when I do talks or public speaking, this all changes. Although I hate being the centre of attention, I like sharing my insights and experiences to others as a form of teaching.

For those of you in a similar situation myself, there are many benefits to public speaking:

· It gives you a platform for your voice to be heard. Because I spend a lot of time on my own, I like reflecting on and analysing the situations I’ve been in, and in turn look for ways to use storytelling to engage the audience with my experiences. Utilising this creative skill can help improve the content of my talks.

· Able to have control over what you say. When I’m asked a question in a social situation, I struggle to get my words out, and either ends up speaking faster with no one understanding me or not being able to fully answer the question. When doing public speaking, I have control over the situation and through planning and preparation, am able to confidently answer questions.

· It gives you a new identity. When I do public speaking, it feels like I need to put on a different persona and portray a confident woman rather than the usual “Shy Sam” persona; this helps to reduce the nerves when I speak.

· Introverts focus more on the audience. We gain our energy from environments from listening and helps me to make connections with the audience.

Being an introvert shouldn’t be a blocker for trying out public speaking. Although it can be scary at first when you do your first presentation, with practice and consistency, it gets easier and you feel more confident when doing so.

Fancy a chat about all things UX and personal development? Feel free to book in a 30 minute chat with me with Calendly.

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