By Guest Contributor Sabirul Islam
Author Sabirul Islam explains how to turn your passion for public speaking into a profession.
PUBLIC SPEAKING FOR INTROVERTS
In the first instance one can assume that public speaking requires all the qualities of an extrovert. Someone who is charismatic, loud and enjoys a large gathering. Therefore, on the face of it, public speaking may seem like a no-no for anyone who is an introvert. As they are seen to be more reserved, quiet and tend to avoid social interactions. However, as an introvert myself, public speaking became that all important bridge I needed to connect the introverted personality that I possess with the world of networking and social interactions. After all, most if not all events involve some degree of networking with those in attendance.
It was after my very first networking event back in 2006, when I realised how much of a gap there was between the real world of social interaction and myself. Having attended the networking event, I felt at unease and uncomfortable. In fact, I sat on the stairs alone with a drink for more than an hour just observing rather than interacting. The self-analysis I did post the event laid bare three key vulnerabilities I felt I possessed. Firstly, I kept avoiding the large crowds. Secondly, I hated making small talk and finally I was terrified to approach others.
As an introvert it is fundamental to be aware of what strengths and qualities you actually have in your locker and to know that introverts can be just as creative as extroverts. And the great thing is, you can often surprise yourself in what is truly possible when you begin to express your qualities through the medium of public speaking. I want to share with you three key areas of focus on how to master public speaking as an introvert and how this helped me overturn the three identified vulnerabilities into an asset and why public speaking became such an important medium to bridge the gap between world of social interaction and myself.
- Focus area one: Confidence in the subject
- Focus area two: Thorough preparation
- Focus area three: Limit social engagement before speaking
FOCUS AREA 1: CONFIDENCE IN THE SUBJECT
As a public speaking introvert, I am always stimulated by my own internal thoughts. I would often think of a subject that has a meaningful connection with who I am, what I do and I begin connecting the dots internally as to how I can bring this subject to life. The power of an introvert lies within the emotional and intrinsic connection between you and the topic of your speech. The more you personally can connect with the subject, the more vibrant and creative you become. This is what leads you to feel confident in your own subject which is exceptionally important as the first area of focus when it comes to mastering public speaking.
FOCUS AREA 2: THOROUGH PREPARATION
I always like to label public speaking as a performance rather than just a speech on stage. Therefore, just like any other performance you see, it requires thorough preparation. None more so than for an introvert, as you want to avoid having the spotlight on you without knowing in depth the content of your performance. The key to a thorough preparation is the initial research phase involved in backing the content of your speech. Also, having a structure and format to your presentation, that involves a beginning, middle and an end with key learning takeaways from each key point your raise. And finally rehearsing your performance behind closed doors, in front of your camera to analyse and assess your body language, tone of voice and even performing in front of your close friends and family to identify whether you are hitting the home run when trying to land your key points. What this does is it puts you in control when you are under the spotlight and instils confidence in your personal style of delivery on stage.
FOCUS AREA 3: LIMIT SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT BEFORE SPEAKING
This is vitally important as your mind and focus should be on yourself and your upcoming performance. Social engagement and interaction pre-performance can often drain an introvert on an emotional level which can have a negative impact on your confidence when performing on stage, especially when you are new to the game. Therefore, during pre-performance your time and energy should be spent on focusing on the task at hand, going over the key points of your speech, walking around the room to trying and energise yourself.
What I realised when I began putting emphasis on these three areas of focus, was the surprising outcome for an introvert like myself who once kept avoiding large crowds, hated making small talk and was terrified to approach others was nothing short of unexpected.
Having confidence in the subject I spoke about freed the shackles of vulnerability that I can always be who I am on stage, without being afraid of what others think of might say or think, because I deeply believed in the message I was sharing and was well prepared to prove doubters wrong with evidence backed research that I had at hand because of the thorough preparation.
Delivering a powerful performance that has a personal connection with who you are even if it means exposing your vulnerabilities on stage, instantly bridges that once seen gap of social interaction and yourself. How? Because as a speaker, your message becomes relatable, has an emotional charge that connects you instantly with the audience, who post event, what to know more about you. This results in eliminating the need to approach others, as others begin to approach you. Hence why, public speaking is a powerful medium to help turn your vulnerabilities as an introvert into an asset and helps you bridge that all important gap between you and the importance of social interaction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SABIRUL ISLAM is world-renowned motivational speaker, author, facilitator and coach. Sabirul has inspired millions of people in 31 countries across the globe. He also developed the business board game, ‘Teen-Trepreneur’, educating youth on financial literacy in developing nations. He is British-Bangladeshi and resides in the UK.
Every aspiring speaker has one task, to master their communication and performance on stage. Through 14 years of experience and application, Sabirul Islam has crafted the brand Build Your Confidence on Stage – a four–step process providing you with the tools and techniques to improve your passion and make money while doing so.
In his brand, the four pillars of public speaking aim to instil aspiring speakers with the performance mindset; learning to control your content, your message and the manner of presentation which you require. The four pillars are: The Speakers Psychology; The Principles of Public Speaking; The Performance Masterclass; and The Profession of a public speaker. These pillars will demonstrate how to overcome fear and anxiety, break general norms and stereotypes, analyse the pre, during and post-performance techniques and master the discipline and its practise. Everything you need to become an expert in your field and make impact.
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