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The Guide to Public Speaking for Introverts – Part 1

Even the most outgoing people can feel anxious about speaking in front of a large audience. For an introvert – someone who has a natural tendency to be reserved and solitary – this experience can simply become terrifying. Does this sound familiar?

Carl Jung (1875-1961), the Swiss psychiatrist who created the terms introversion and extroversion, helped us understand why people behave differently in group situations. Typically, we consider extroverts to have outgoing, talkative, energetic behaviour, whereas introverts are more reserved and solitary. An introvert enjoys interactions with close friends but tends to feel uncomfortable in large groups. They can even feel overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings, preferring a quieter environment.

You might now be telling yourself that it’s practically impossible for an introvert to become a great public speaker. Yet there are many examples of famous people who are known introverts.

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Hypnosis to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

Standing up to speak in front of a group of people can be intimidating enough in your own language; doing so in a foreign language is sometimes the biggest hurdle my clients have to face. Glossophobia (fear of public speaking) ranks number 1 on the list of people’s...

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The Power of Pausing

We all speak at different speeds and there are no hard and fast rules about how quickly or slowly we should speak when we are presenting. However, when we analyse some of the most powerful speeches of all time, given by Martin Luther King, J F Kennedy or Steve Jobs for example *, what’s striking is how much pausing all these speakers use. Great presenters use groups of words, often as few as 3, 4 or 5, before integrating a pause. The key advantages of well-timed pausing are the following:

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Lock, Talk, Pause

Feeling nervous about giving an important presentation is a natural reaction that is positive when it leads to an increase in our adrenaline level, giving us the energy to perform well. However, extreme nervousness that isn’t controlled can lead to an inability to give the best of ourselves and this, unfortunately, affects our image and credibility. We are given all sorts of advice about controlling anxiety, ranging from “imagine your audience sitting on the toilet” to “take big, deep breaths”. However, this type of advice may be either too ridiculous or too vague to be useful.

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Marie Stephenson,
Certified Executive Coach

10, avenue de la Grande Armée  75017 Paris

Contact me for a free preliminary phone appointment

+ 33 6 47 92 44 60