If you were to list the characteristics that most of us think a really good speaker should have to communicate the importance of public speaking, which would be on your list? I can only speak for myself, but I think on my list I would have to be an extrovert, an outgoing person who is always giving off a lot of energy. You need this to connect with your audience, right? I would be wrong. It turns out that introverts – those people who are more inwardly focused and less outwardly focused – can make excellent speakers. Let’s find out why …
The ability to listen
In this context, I hate to admit it, but I think I’m very challenging and outgoing. What this means is that I really like to talk. Sometimes this is not good: I tend to talk to people and I don’t take enough time to listen to what they have to say. Introverts have a special ability: They are very good listeners.
What this means is that when they are preparing to give a speech, they can use their listening skills to create a better speech. As they gather the information they will need to create their speech, introverts take the time to listen to differences of opinion. This allows them to find the best solution, even if it turns out to be one they didn’t suggest themselves.
For an introvert, it’s not just about listening. Instead, listening is where it begins. Once they have heard what someone has to say, an introvert will take this information and analyze it. They will consider all the facts as they process what they have been told. The end result of this will be a well thought out set of ideas that can be worked on in your next speech.
Good for sharing ideas and successes
Introverts are also very good at sharing both success and praise and this allows the audience to feel that they have been included in the speech. It’s not just about the speaker and this is what opens the door for the audience to feel like the speaker is revealing things to them that they have learned rather than telling them things they should already know.
What makes introverts especially good at gathering the information they’ll need is that they often don’t feel threatened. They do not feel threatened if their ideas are not what the group decides to use and they do not feel threatened by high achievers who can occupy much of the conversation.
Introverts can go beyond themselves and instead focus on the topic on which they will build their speech. Introverts can spend their time thinking about what their audience wants to achieve. They are not obsessed with the process it will take to get there.
Willing to take time to think
Too often we can find ourselves in a rush to reach conclusions. These are the conclusions that then find their way into our speech that we then share with our audience. Introverted speakers don’t have this problem. They take their time and think about what their speech will include.
Too often when we gather information for a speech, we can be swayed by the person we are speaking with who is dominating a group discussion. An introvert has the ability to overcome this problem. They will take what they have heard and then take the time to examine it all to find out what it really means.
Introverts need the opportunity to go to a quiet place where they can reflect on what they have been told. This allows them to build solutions from the information they have collected and reload. It is this type of internal balance that will allow you to create a great speech.
What does all this mean to you?
Public speaking is the process in which a person opens up and shares their speech with an audience. We consider this process to be the very definition of being an extrovert, and therefore we assume that only extroverts would be good at sharing the benefits of public speaking. However, it turns out that introverts have a number of key characteristics that make them very good at giving speeches.
Introverts have the ability to listen well. Because introverts take the time to listen and then think about what they have heard, the speeches they make often speak directly to the issues facing the audience. When creating a speech, the introverted speaker gathers insights and successes from those around him. This means that your speech is about the topic and not about them. Finally, creating a great speech takes time. Extroverts spend a lot of time thinking about how they will deliver the speech. Introverts spend their time thinking about what they will deliver.
In this world, it takes all kinds of people to be able to give good speeches. Extroverts are often overlooked when they choose someone to give a speech. Maybe we shouldn’t do this. Introverts have the ability to create a unique type of speech that can really connect with an audience.