Nothing can hold a person back like fear, but various presentation skills for introverts can put you at ease and help you manage your fear of public speaking.
Preparation Builds Confidence
If you are an introvert, you are more likely to think before you speak, which can be a strength when you are presenting. Be sure to research your topic thoroughly so that you are confident in it and what you are saying. Make speaker’s notes or bullets to guide you through the presentation. Practice giving your presentation using the notes to remind you of key points, and practice often. Nothing can put you at ease more than rehearsing. Rehearse out loud so you can hear yourself and adapt to the performance part of presenting.
Seek Out Support
When you are working on presentation skills for introverts, consider taking a class or attending Toastmasters to hone your skills. As an introvert you probably prefer interactions that are one on one, and if this is the case, then seek out a coach or a mentor to guide you.
Focus on the Audience
As in introvert, you might find some solace in focusing more on the audience than on yourself when you are presenting. Be sure to speak about topics that you have a passion for and keep in mind that what you are saying is impacting others. Keep in mind the reasons that you are giving the presentation. Are you trying to inform, educate, invigorate, or persuade those whom you are speaking to? If you make the audience your focus, you put the spotlight on them and off of you. Keep in mind, too, that audiences are more often supportive than hostile.
Presentation skills for introverts should also focus on taking command of the speaking platform and projecting an image of confidence. The best way to use this is to make a videotape of you practicing your presentation. If you do this you will be able to see what gestures you make with your hands, how you move about the stage, and how your voice sounds. Evaluate how the audience sees you, and then determine what you can do to tweak your performance. You might be surprised at what you see. The jitters that you are experiencing on the inside might not be at all apparent to your audience.
The Eyes Have It
Most introverts are comfortable with one-on-one dealings. The crowd causes the panic. If you find this to be the case, when you are working on presentation skills for introverts, focus on looking at only one person for a certain amount of time or for a particular phrase. You can also try focusing on foreheads, or even eyebrows, is direct eye contact is difficult for you. Make sure that you keep breathing while you present, and use your natural voice, the voice you are comfortable with.
Keep the Positive Qualities in the Forefront
Sure, you might be an introvert, but you have other characteristics that you can focus on. Many introverts are excellent researchers and writers. Also, since introverts don’t speak often, and rarely without purpose, people tend to listen to them. You can use that to your advantage. When honing your presentation skills for introverts, try to limit your sense of dread. Instead of seeing the entire audience, think about your presentation as being an interaction with each person, and think about what you want each individual to glean from what you say.