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How Introverts can Make Their Voices Heard

How Introverts Can Make Their Voices Heard

How Introverts Can Make Their Voices Heard

Introverts feel uncomfortable being the centre of attention so, when in large groups, they do not like speaking aloud nor presenting their ideas.

At the same time, many introverts have terrific ideas and a high degree of expertise, which if shared, would greatly benefit the group.

So, we need to know how introverted people can achieve two goals:

  • To feel more comfortable when speaking in meetings and groups.
  • To effectively share their ideas, opinions and proposals, which will greatly benefit the group.

In order to achieve these goals, we need to know the following:

  1. How introverts can use "self-talk" to build their self-confidence.
  2. How to prepare your message in advance.
  3. How to use your voice tones to appear more confident (even if you're not).
  4. How to use body language, eye contact and hand gestures to their best effect.

1. How introverts can use "self-talk" to build their self-confidence.

We all think in at least three ways: Mental images, Mental talk, Emotions, (Feelings).

Each of these modalities affect the other two: Our mental images, and the words we say to ourselves both strongly affect how we feel.

  • Whenever people say disempowering things to themselves, (or if they imagine themselves failing) then they immediately feel disempowered.
  • Whenever people say empowering things to themselves, (or imagine themselves succeeding) then they immediately feel empowered.

In order to build self-confidence, we must purposefully try to say only positive things about the situation, and simultaneously banish self-destructive language from our minds.

The skill is to purposefully take control of your mind and direct it away from imagining or talking about failure, and instead, direct the mind towards success.

Positive affirmations are prepared, positive statements which are learnt and repeated to oneself, in order to generate the corresponding emotions.

Just as actors who know their lines, find that the corresponding emotions flow automatically, as a consequence, so you too will discover that by learning to say positive scripts, over and over, will generate the corresponding positive emotions.

An example of a positive script is "I have good ideas that will add real value to the team."

2. Prepare your message in advance.

All successful events are preceded by good preparation. So, if introverted people want to effectively communicate their message, they must prepare their message in advance.

Just as winning athletes prepare their performance before an event, so effective communicators prepare their message before the meeting.

So whenever you are attending a meeting, figure out what key points you want to make about each of the major agenda items; and write down what it is you want to say, and the justifications.

Remember that effective communication consists of two parts:

  • What it is, you want to say.
  • Why it is correct.

To be effective, you need to write down your thoughts for each agenda topic and answer both questions.

3. Use good voice tones to appear more confident (even if you're not).

People like to listen to speakers who have good voice tones, which (for our purposes) means:

  • Slightly louder, because a slightly louder voice implies confidence.
  • Slightly lower, because a slightly lower tone implies authority.
  • Slightly slower, because a slightly slower pace implies maturity.

4. How to use body language, eye contact and hand gestures to their best effect.

People like to listen to those who have good body language, which for our purposes means:

Direct eye contact: Look into the eyes of your audience, one by one, as you speak. Try to engage each person, with your eye contact. Emphasise the people who have the most authority. If you don't like looking into people's eyes, then look at the centre of their forehead. They won't be able to tell the difference, but it will make you appear more confident.

Hand gestures: Use open handed gestures to emphasise key points. Animate yourself as you speak by using your hands, but never point at anyone, since that looks aggressive.

Body posture: Stand or sit up straight. Don't slouch. Don't lean. Hold your spine straight and strong. Hold your head up and you will look confident even if you don't feel it.

Remember that people respond to what you do and say, not to how you feel.

If you look and sound right, they will respond well to you and your message, irrespective of whether you are introverted or extroverted.

What counts most is not your psychological type, but your message.

Free Webinar: Helping Introverts to be Seen at Work

You are invited to join us for our Free Webinar Helping Introverts to be Seen at Work on Friday 4 March - an hour-long webinar designed to help introverts to feel more comfortable and effectively share their ideas and opinions. Register your interest today.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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