Public Speaking Tips for Introverts

by Lindy

I’m a member of a small writers group on Linked In. It’s a great group with very lively and supportive members.  Last week, when I told the group about my recent Toastmaster’s speech and my hesitance to speak in public, one of the group members, Charles, shared some of his public speaking tips he learned from training and years of experience. They are very practical and inspiring tips.

Charles’ 10 Public Speaking Tips for Introverts:

  1. Breathe like a baby, from your diaphragm, which will save the throat from overworking and becoming raspy. Besides, those muscles will not give you the power to project; volume comes from the diaphragm. You’ll also pick up greater range without effort.
  2. Pretend you have a ping pong ball floating in your throat, and your job is to keep it steady.
  3. Imagine you have a string coming out of the top of your head, like a puppet, which will help keep you from becoming too rigid. You’ll feel relaxed and flexible. Also, keep your knees slightly bent. Fainting can be a problem, and this will prevent it.
  4. Move around. The standing joke is it makes you a moving target, but people focus on movement, so they will tend to pay attention more.
  5. Make eye contact with as many people as you can, and move up to them at times. This keeps them wondering and therefore attentive.
  6. Smile. The best way to make your smile authentic is to imagine them sitting in their underwear.
  7. Slow down. About a beat per second is ideal.
  8. The mantra is: “Tell them what you’re going to say; say it; tell them you’ve said it; say it again.”
  9. Avoid jokes unless you really know your audience.
  10. The KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

My next Toastmaster speech is coming up next week and I’ll be certain to implement Charles’ techniques.

Do you have any other tips you’d add to the list?

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