The Introverted Marketer: Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking
You’re a great marketer–you know your stuff. But sometimes, when it comes to putting yourself out there, you feel like a fraud.
I understand how that feels. It’s hard to put yourself out there and be vulnerable – especially when you’re not feeling confident. But the truth is, everyone feels that way sometimes.
In fact, some people would rather do just about anything than speak in front of a group.
But what if there was a way to overcome that fear and make public speaking easier – even enjoyable?
Introverts, by definition, are people who recharge by being alone. They’re not necessarily shy, but they prefer to spend their time alone or in small groups. This can make public speaking a daunting task.
And while this may be true for some introverts, it does not have to be a hindrance in your career. In fact, many successful and well-known people are introverts.
Some of the world’s most popular authors are introverts. J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Anne Rice and Maya Angelou are all introverts.
Other well-known introverts include Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lawrence and Einstein. As you can see, being an introvert does not have to hold you back from achieving great things.
In fact, introverts often have some great qualities that can be an asset in a career in marketing. They are usually good listeners, creative thinkers and excellent writers.
Tips to Make Public Speaking Easier
Here are ways you can make public speaking less daunting and grow your audience for speaking in front of crowds.
Understand why you’re afraid
The first step is to understand why you’re afraid of public speaking. Is it because you’re worried about what other people will think of you? Or is it because you’re not sure what to say?
Know your audience
One of the best ways to ease your fears about public speaking is to know your audience. If you’re speaking to a group of people who are already familiar with you and your work, you’ll be less likely to feel nervous.
Prepare ahead of time
Once you know why you’re afraid, you can prepare for your talk. If you’re worried about what to say, write out your speech or create an outline of the points you want to make. It makes it easier for you to get your points across without going blank as you’re talking.
Practice in front of a mirror
Once you have your speech prepared, it’s time to practice. The best way to do this is in front of a mirror. This will help you get used to the sound of your own voice and see how you look when you’re speaking.
Remember that everyone is human
Even the most experienced public speakers get nervous sometimes. The fear may never go away, and that’s ok. Just focus on your prepared material and don’t worry about making mistakes.
As someone who is both an introvert and a marketer, I often get asked how I do it – how do I overcome my natural tendencies in order to do something that is so public-facing? The answer is simple: I’ve learned to embrace my introverted side and use it to my advantage.
Here are a few ways I have learnt how to use my introversion to help me get to where I am now.
Use your introversion as a strength
Introverts are often seen as shy or reserved, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to say. In fact, introverts are excellent listeners and observers – two qualities that are essential in any good marketer.
We also are very thoughtful and introspective, meaning that we’re often able to come up with original and innovative ideas. If you can learn to harness your introverted tendencies, they can actually be a real asset in the marketing world.
Use alone time wisely
One of the best things about being an introvert is that we’re used to spending time alone. This means that we’re often very good at using our own time wisely and getting things done with minimal constant distractions.
For me, this has been essential in my work as a content creator. I’m able to get a lot of work done while still leaving time for myself to recharge, and I know that this wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t have my introverted side to lean on.
While networking can be daunting for anyone, it can be especially so for introverts. The idea of going into a room full of strangers and trying to make small talk can be enough to send even the most outgoing of introverts into a panic.
But networking doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve learnt that there are plenty of ways to network as an introvert and that it can actually be a really beneficial way to connect with people and further your career.
Be comfortable with public speaking
This one might seem like a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. While public speaking can be daunting for introverts, it’s also something that we can learn to do quite well.
The key is to focus on the content of what you’re saying, rather than the delivery. If you’re well prepared and you know your stuff, the delivery will come naturally. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay–there are always nerves involved in public speaking, no matter who you are.