Monday, February 27, 2012

New book on introverts advises finding your public-speaking "sweet spot"

Call it a quiet but powerful statement: The most-wished-for book on Amazon.com right now is a book about introverts, and public speaking plays a big role in the book's effort to describe introverts' strengths.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking weaves public speaking as a theme throughout the book, talking about how cultural phenomenons like Dale Carnegie, Toastmasters, and Tony Robbins have created an "Extrovert Ideal" that makes introverts, by comparison, seen as lacking something. Cain looks at cultural influences, genetics, personality factors and free will as factors in a more complex and thorough vision of introversion. The latter quality is the secret sauce that introverts can use "to overcome our personalities," she writes, urging readers to think of themselves this way: "We are like rubber bands at rest. We are elastic and can stretch ourselves, but only so much." And to illustrate that point, she lets readers in on her own efforts to become good at public speaking, something she herself feared but now does frequently.

Cain coaches introvert readers in how to find their "sweet spot" and manage their life experiences--including presenting and public speaking--to take advantage of the power of introversion, as well as their ability to act extroverted when it too conveys an advantage. Watch Susan Cain talk about the book in the trailer below, and check out our all-in-one post for introverts on public speaking, with 6 resources. What do you think about the power of introverts?


Looking for famous speeches by women? Check out The Eloquent Woman Index of Famous Women's Speeches, with a wide variety of women speakers, types of speeches and topics to inspire your next speech. Each one comes with lessons for speakers, plus video or audio and a transcript, where available.