Why Introverts Make Good Speakers

One should never underestimate the speaking power of an introvert
One should never underestimate the speaking power of an introvert Image Credit: Robert

What do you think that it takes in order to be a good speaker? If you are like most people, you would say that having an outgoing personality is one of the key factors that every good speaker needs to have. What’s interesting about this is that you’d be wrong. A lot of people are not outgoing, in fact they may be introverted. However, introverts can become great speakers also. They just have to discover what makes an introvert a good speaker.

What Is An Introvert?

The Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung identified the personality types of introversion and extroversion in the mid-20th century. Extroverts get energy from being around other people and sharing their thoughts with the outside world. Introverts, in contrast, are people who are inwardly focused and enjoy solitude to energize themselves and think. What’s interesting is that people typically have both introverted and extroverted tendencies but favor one personality type over the other. Many societies reward the people with extroverted personalities, and those who are more introverted may find themselves being excluded or envious. For that reason, it is essential for speakers to acknowledge the advantages of introversion. Of particular importance are the benefits introverts offer when they are in speaking positions. The good news for introverts is that they can both advance their careers and make a mark in today’s society.

Introverts can be viewed as a minority because they are often overlooked due to a quieter disposition. In reality introverts make up close to half the world’s population. Introverts have valuable qualities such as highly developed listening and thinking skills. It should come as no surprise that many introverts can make extraordinary leaders. We need to realize that some of the most widely known historical leaders, such as physicist Albert Einstein, spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi and civil rights leader Rosa Parks, were introverts. In modern times leaders such as business expert and philanthropist Bill Gates and motion picture entrepreneur Steven Spielberg are also introverts. Despite this list of well-known introverted leaders, workers who avoid the spotlight still need to develop their innate skills to become comfortable in leadership positions.

We need to remember that good leaders are not defined by their audibility or outwardly displayed energy level. Despite the stereotypes that good leaders must be extroverted, recent research suggests that extroversion is not a simple indicator of success in a leadership role. Introverts have the ability to be more effective leaders than extroverts. The determining factor is who the leaders are managing. While extroverted leaders work well with people who need to be motivated and encouraged, introverted leaders do better with proactive people who want to be listened to and given the freedom to run with ideas. It is important to understand the value of having a leader who is more reserved, quieter, and in some cases silent, in order to create space for employees to enter the dialogue.

The Advantages Of Being An Introvert

Many extroverts enjoy speaking over listening and can miss team members’ comments. Introverts, on the other hand, have developed excellent listening skills and take time to understand the needs and ideas of their team members. When employees share opinions or ideas with a leader, they feel both acknowledged and respected, and they are more likely to maintain a feeling of job satisfaction. But introverted leaders don’t stop themselves at listening. They take the time to thoughtfully consider and analyze the facts before deciding how to proceed. Introverted leaders are more likely to listen carefully to suggestions and support employees’ efforts to be proactive. A willingness to listen without feeling threatened by what is being said is also indicative of confidence, which colleagues can sense and feel comforted by.

Extroverted leaders enjoy vocalizing their ideas, and they can become very excited while doing so. This excitement can limit the flow of ideas back to them from other members of a team. Alternatively, introverted leaders prefer to share talk time with teammates and enjoy listening to differences in opinion to their positions. More idea generation leads to finding the best solution, even if the solution is not proposed by the speaker. Introverts tend not to allow themselves to feel threatened if their ideas are not used, nor do they feel threatened by high performers. Introverted leaders prefer to be in charge of strong teams that can drive their passion for achievement. Less of the focus is on the introverted leader’s ego and more is on how to go about delivering an outstanding product. For these introverts emphasizing the outcome as the most central aspect of work – not the process taken to get there – and this creates an environment where success can be obtained in a variety of ways and shared by the group. Sharing ideas, success and praise can lead to increased employee satisfaction and greater team innovation.

If you are an introvert, do not try to change into someone you are not. We need to realize that you’ll never feel comfortable if you deny who you are to fit in. Allow yourself time for self-discovery, then emphasize your innate abilities to become the person and speaker that you want to be. It isn’t easy to become a speaker, it takes patience to consistently reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, research new ideas and refine your current strategies. Introverts are capable of being independent heroes, role models and confident speakers. Through practice and support, anyone can develop their innate abilities and use their personality, introverted or otherwise, to succeed at giving speeches.

What All Of This Means For You

In order to become a better speaker, we will sometimes sit back and take a look at ourselves. We all believe that our personality can play a big role in how good of a speaker we can become. Most of us would like to be more outgoing so that we can do a better job of connecting with our audience. However, we may be wrong. Even if we are not naturally outgoing people, we may still be able to become good speakers.

Introverts are people who are inwardly focused and enjoy solitude to energize themselves and think. Introverts do a good job of listening and thinking. Some of the world’s greatest leaders have been introverts. It turns out that being an extrovert is not a good indicator of somebody’s ability to lead. Extroverts like to hear themselves talking. Introverts like to listen and then think about what they have heard. Introverts need to accept who they are and not try to change. They can use their talents to become very good speakers.

I think that we have all be conditioned to believe that the loud always talking type of person can make the best speaker. However, it turns out that we might be wrong. The introvert might be the person who is the best at giving speeches because they have taken the time to listen and think about what their audience wants to hear. If you are an introvert, understand that you can become a great speaker.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How can an introvert use their listening and thinking skills to become a better speaker?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In most of the speeches that we give, we are trying to convince our audience to take some action – that’s what the importance of public speaking is all about. Maybe we want them to buy our product, vote for our candidate, or clean up their town. No matter what we want them to do, they are not going to do it if they don’t trust us. Since most of your audience had never heard of you before you took the stage, you are going to have to find a way to use your speech to build a sense of trust with your audience. Just exactly how are you going to go about doing this?