Public Speaking For Introverts: Susan Cain Starts A New Class [VIDEO]
So what does it take for an introvert to take to the stage in front of a full house and wow the audience? As Cain shared in the New York Times, it took her a full "year of training in the style of a marathon runner to be the best and bravest speaker [she] could." While she notes that some introverts are perfectly comfortable doing public speaking, she was not one of them. It took practicing every day and starting off small (for Cain, that meant speaking at Toastmasters) for her to deliver her TED Talk. All that practice paid off though, as she earned a well-deserved standing ovation. Perhaps it was the fact that she acknowledged her introverted nature that allowed her to shine. As she tells Fast Company, public speakers don't have to be dynamic to be compelling. Staying true to your own style of communicating will allow the talk to flow more naturally—eliminating some of the jitters.
She also says that being passionate about your topic will help you give a better talk. "When you're more focused in getting your message across than you are worrying about how people are viewing you, that's huge," she says in the article. Cain genuinely cared about teaching her audience about introversion. That allowed her to focus more on getting the message across than how she looked or acted on stage. The author of the bestseller Quiet, with another book reportedly in the works, has taken on what she calls an oxymoronic role: the public introvert. Why did she think it was so important to break out of her shell and speak up? "Partly because I believe it’s healthy for all of us (extroverts included) to stretch occasionally beyond our temperaments," she says, "[but] mostly because, for the sake of a book on the value of quiet, I’m willing to make a little noise."