Perhaps you have heard this one, "How do you know if your software engineer is an extrovert?" The answer is, "Because he looks at YOUR shoes when he talks to you."
Is this a funny observation or an unfair characterization? Whether it is funny or not, in IT we do have a reputation for being an introvert’s paradise. Of course this does not mean every IT professional is an introvert. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain acknowledges that there are times when an introvert should consider acting like an extrovert. Public speaking is one of the times when an introvert can benefit from acting like an extrovert. If you are a leader people need to hear from you and this means speaking in public. You can be an introvert and be an excellent speaker. It comes down to your approach.
Please share with us how you approach public speaking. What are some of your best tips? What has been your most positive speaking experience and why? Feel the need to get something off your chest, by all means share with us your less than stellar speaking experiences and what you would do differently. Let’s create a league of excellent introverted speakers. We are all in this together!
PS. Being a nervous speaker is not the sole domain of introverts. If you do not think you are introvert, join the discussion anyway. We need your tips too!