I'm so excited today. A speaker coaching client I have just gave her first speech. And she rocked it. A quietly spoken introvert with small, regulated movements gave a cracker talk that you simply had to listen to.
Annabel is a CEO of a multi million dollar company she started nearly 25 years ago, from very humble beginnings. It's a wonderful rags to riches story, complete with all the failures you need to be a success.
But it's not just the story that made it so compelling. It was the speaker. Many of us shy way from public speaking because we think it's only extroverts that can do it. So not true! In fact, they're the ones that may not come off best, because extroverts are often so intent on putting their own stamp on things, it's harder for them to leave ego at the door and make it about the audience.
Introverts spend more time preparing, researching and have less need for external validation. They just want to get it right.
I was so impressed by Annabel's drive to make it the best she could. Once written, she took her speech apart word by word, pondering over whether to use urge or encourage. Working on pausing, smiling and emphasis. And the wonderful thing is that none of this was fake, it was practiced, but it wasn't fake.
Is there a lot of work involved in writing and delivering a great presentation? Absolutely. Conservatively Annabel put in around 40 hours for a 20 minute speech.
But she'll use the speech again and again. She'll build on it. Her goal to share her knowledge and experience and inspire women will be achieved. Her company will continue to attract the best in the industry.
Don't use your introversion as an excuse not to build this critical leadership skill.
Be quietly, compellingly, you.
Lynne Schinella is a conference speaker, speaker coach, and author of Bite Me! and other do's and don'ts of dealing with our differences.
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