Extraverts make bad Public Speakers

Have you heard a colleague say, “Oh don’t worry about Bob’s presentation. He loves to talk. He’ll do just fine.”?

And then Bob speaks – and bombs. Everyone knows that except Bob. Bob - who believed that he was a natural presenter because he loves to talk. Bob - who craves the audience’s attention but pays no attention to the audience. Bob - who did not rehearse because he thought he was a natural. Bob - who pooh-poohs the faux pas’ because he enjoyed his presentation, “What’s wrong with the rest of you?” Bob - who ignored the little details because extraverts tend to be big picture people not good with critical details.

Extroverts tend to be bad public speakers. They can be trained but they need a lot of help. The biggest obstacle is their attitude. They do not want to be trained. They must first overcome the delusion that they are good. This can be very difficult for extraverts to accept because they crave the attention – and believe they receive attention from the admiring masses. It seldom occurs to the extravert that they might simply be the loudest and perhaps an object of ridicule.

On the learning path extraverts start at the point that they don’t know what they don’t know.

Introverts make the best public speakers.

Introverts tend to be better observers and listeners. The best speakers need to listen to their audience to see how well they are getting through. Introverts tend to be better thinkers. Specifically they think before they speak so when they say something it is clearer and more profound. Introverts listen to what they say to test it against what they want to get across. Extroverts just want to hear themselves talking but don’t care what they say.

Because introverts are not naturally born speakers they will learn the system of public speaking. They will practice the skills and techniques. They will be willing to learn. And because introverts are good thinkers they will apply the speaking techniques because they learned the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’. Introverts expect to make mistakes and learn from them. Introverts do not expect to be perfect while extroverts believe they are perfect.

Introverts just need to speak up to be heard and they need to adjust their comfort to speaking in public.

If you are an introvert – congratulations – you have the potential to be a great public speaker. If you are an extrovert – there is always hope after you get an attitude adjustment.

George Torok
The Speech Coach for Executives

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