I am an introvert which may surprise most people because if you are watching any of my content online you’ll see this very charismatic gregarious larger than life type of personality on stage, but I’m an introvert. You might naturally be wondering how an introvert can grow and develop as a public speaker and feel confident speaking on stage in front of large crowds. I want to encourage my fellow introverts with 3 of my personal strategies that have helped me to be best prepared to present in front of an audience.
#1 I spend a lot of time observing
The first thing I do is spend a lot of time observing others who are successful at engagement. I watch magicians. Magicians are incredible storytellers. They trick you by crafting their words and their stories. I watch standup comedians. Often they have to work with hostile audiences to make them laugh and they also are expert storytellers. Then i watch the obvious things like TEDx talks because that’s a beautiful platform to see how amazing storytellers tell their stories
#2 I spend a lot of time practicing
I then spend a lot of time practicing. I will frequently record bits on my phone. Just audio notes then I’ll listen back again. And I’ll see how well I can keep my own attention and convey emotion just using my voice. And then I’ll record a lot on camera. I’ll stand in front of the mirror and practice. I really really believe in the power of practicing something and not simply winging it.
I even practicing something as common as my opening line which goes something like
“Good morning everybody and welcome to..” followed by the name of the event. I can add an inflection to each word in a different way to convey a different mood with the same words to convey different energies. I’ll even practice how I use my tone and inflection based on the energy I want to create. Sometimes good morning sounds too formal so I might start with “Ladies and gentlemen and distinguished guests welcome to..” That’s a more formal start that you often have to do in the Middle east. If I’m somewhere in the U.S. I might start with something a little more casual such as “Hey, what’s going on everybody, you guys feeling GOOD?” well here we are and welcome to….” I practice the most basic things because I really believe in practicing.
#3 I am always asking questions
I love asking questions even things that are outside the scope of my work. For example I hold a microphone as do other speakers. Most speakers get lazy and they are just satisfied with simply holding the microphone. But do we really understand how sound is amplified and how the mic works? But I’m a nerd and I’ll ask the sound guys to tell me about the latest microphones. Tell me about what works and what doesn’t. Why does that beep happen sometimes? What’s the most optimal position to hold the mic? It’s a tool that speakers use but I’m even curious about those things.
I’ll even ask about the lighting. What kind of filters are used, what kind of color grading are you using, what kind of editing are you doing, what’s the position of the light and how does that create different shadows on my face and my body. I’ll see in photos that sometimes I like how I look and sometimes I don’t like how I look and the difference is the lighting. So I ask tons of questions all the time. I think that sets me apart and other professionals speakers that constantly ask questions
I exercise these three strategies constantly. I am sort of a consultant to myself. I am constantly looking back asking myself, what did I do well and what can I improve. I know that if you can find your own rhythm while incorporating these ideas, being an introvert will not get in the way of your success as a Speaker.
Dan Ram ignites the stage as an in-person event and virtual event MC/ Moderator & Speaker at over 100 events a year. He has shared the stage with international luminaries including President Barack Obama, Sir Richard Branson, Reid Hoffman, Nico Rosberg, and Grammy-winning artists and celebrities. He has also been recognized as a Top 40 under 40 leader 2020 as well as a Top 100 Yale Alumni in Technology 2021. Level up your communication skills through his course and mastermind “Speaking Success”. His passion is to inspire people with his motto ‘Start Now Start Simple’ in building a future we all want to live in.