📣 Introverts Speak Up! 📣

Many of my clients self-identify as introverts. I know a bit about introverts because our son Jack is one. He’s in university and takes Computer Science. He also works part-time as a bartender. I’ve seen him in action; he’s gregarious, funny and appears to be loving what he does.

When there’s a group project at school, he’s the one that gives the oral presentation. I asked him once, “You say you’re an introvert, but you’re so outgoing.” He responded with, “It’s all an act!”

In Susan Cain’s Book, Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, she writes “…introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of the work they consider important, people they love or anything they value highly.”

Studies show that a third or one-half of us are introverts. So, how can introverts get up there in front of people?

🗣️ Practice, Practice, Practice

I say this a lot, with all my clients, even if they’re extroverts. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel.

Practice doesn’t mean reading and quietly saying your speech. It means saying it out loud with the same energy you’re going to use when you present for real. The concert pianist doesn’t practice their concerto quietly, they do it full out.  

👑 Wear what you feel great in

We always feel better when we wear something that we like and feel good in.  Carolyn Mair, a behavioural psychologist and author of The Psychology of Fashion, writes “When we feel good in what we are wearing, we tend to be more confident. When we are confident, we are able to exert influence through our confidence alone.”

🫵 Stand up straight

Maintaining an Up and Out High-Power pose makes you feel more confident. Amy Cuddy has a great TED Talk on this. You can watch it here.

🕒 The early bird gets the worm

Arrive at your venue or boardroom early. This way you can chat with people coming into the space. Then, when it’s time for you to speak you can find a few friendly faces to talk to.

👀 Make eye contact

Look people in the eye when you present. When you look at the audience, they will look at you. They’ll be less tempted to check their phone, because you’re looking at them. You have more authority, and the audience will buy in to your message.

Only look at a person for a few sentences. We don’t want them to think there is something wrong with them, like spinach in their teeth. Plus, you don’t want to alienate the audience, because they’re wondering why this one person is getting all the attention!  

😰 You’re Nervous. So, what!

Have you ever been upset and tried to hold it in? For me, I’d just explode! The more we stifle our nervousness the harder it is to keep down. So, allow yourself to be nervous. Say to yourself that its OK.  

🫶 Take care of yourself

At Christmas this year, our son came home on Dec. 23. I was excited that he could stay a full week when he’d have to return to work the weekend. After 5 days of going out with family, friends and tons of parties, he announced, “I’ve got to go home tomorrow. “As much as I wanted him to stay, I knew that he had had enough and needed time to recharge.

This is exactly what introverts need to do after giving that presentation. Take time to be alone and gather your energy.

Thanks for reading!



2 October 2020 - 12:33, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
  The wearing of masks during the pandemic has really highlighted to me how much we rely on body language and facial expressions for communication.  In my city, we’re required to wear masks in public places. Just like working virtual, it has been a new thing to get used to.    If you’re not articulating properly, while...
19 June 2020 - 9:42, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
  Many people are afraid of public speaking. It’s not the speaking, it’s the public part. The fact that they’re in front of people. They’re worried that the audience won’t like their speech, or they’ll judge them for stumbling on words or forget key points and everyone will know.   One strategy for overcoming this...
26 May 2020 - 14:50, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
The goal of a presentation could be many things: Persuading, informing or entertaining. Some will combine all three. The use of slides is there to add to your presentation. To give a visual representation of the point you’re making. And the simpler, the better. Therefore, slides with a lot of words on them do not...
7 May 2020 - 15:52, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
Before March 18, 2020, I had been working with a few individuals remotely. However, if I was told that I’d be giving a workshop virtually, I wouldn’t have believed it! My workshop is about people and I need to be in the room with them. But in came the pandemic and I needed to adapt. ...
13 April 2020 - 16:39, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
  Becoming a confident public speaker means being aware of how you present yourself in every situation.  Now that most of us are working from home and communicating through video apps and computer cameras, we should still remain aware of how we’re coming across.      A few things that I work on with clients who are presenting...
29 March 2020 - 15:09, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
Since the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve had to shift the way we work.  Meetings have been conducted remotely and I have held many coaching sessions via video link. My friend and colleague Margot Ross-Graham of Sandbar Coaching & Consulting has some important advice on how to conduct a meeting even though no one is in the...
29 February 2020 - 14:53, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
Some presenters don’t want to move and will stand behind the lectern for their entire speech. That is fine unless they’re gripping the thing. Try to keep your body loose.   Some like to walk while speaking. That’s fine too, if they have a reason to move. When you move, do it with a purpose. Lay...
28 January 2020 - 18:52, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
 When giving a speech many of my clients have difficulty looking at the audience. Trying to feel comfortable, some look above the audience’s heads. I often demonstrate this to a client. How does it make you feel if I’m not looking at you? Looking above people’s’ heads makes it appear that you aren’t interested. You’re...
29 November 2019 - 17:54, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
The writing and publication of my book “Public Speaking Skills for Dummies” has been an exciting journey.  And it took an interesting turn when I received a message from Hossein who told me he was translating my book for publication in Iran.  So it’s going from English to Farsi. I was very excited to hear...
20 October 2019 - 16:48, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off
My alma mater featured me on it’s website in October. Click here to read the article.