Monday, July 2, 2012

5 books for the introverted speaker

Introverts can be great public speakers--with plenty of time to prepare and the chance to be by themselves before and after. Consulting a good book is an activity true to the introvert's way, so I've rounded up five good guides to help introverts consider their speaking situations of all kinds, from networking to speeches. Many books have been written about introverts, but all of these are very recent and well-received guides, so I hope you'll find the help you need in their pages:
  1. Lessons from an introvert who tackled speaking in a big way: Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, writes in the book about public speaking being her biggest hurdle as an introvert. Later, during her book tour, she went on to give a TED talk about being an introvert--a big turnaround. You'll appreciate her writing about public speaking and her tips and clues about how to find your "sweet spot" as an introverted speaker.
  2. Take advantage of the introverted edge: The Introvert's Guide to Success in Business and Leadership author Lisa Petrilli has a host of suggestions for ways to take conferences and meetings and other business exchanges and make them more comfortable and effective for introverts. Since we do most of our public speaking at work, it's invaluable. Petrilli's angle: Your introversion is a business advantage, since it will lead you to be more prepared, a better listener and much more.
  3. Let's face the networking happy hour together: Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected tackles the public speaking situation many introverts dread: Networking events. It's easy to get overwhelmed in a roomful of people, each of whom requires a new introduction and conversation. Here's your life preserver and preparation kit, all in one.
  4. Tooting your own horn, quietly: Many of my readers have told me they enjoyed Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead in part because it helped them steer between the shoals of needing to speak up about their accomplishments and dreading that very thing. A smart guide to making sure you don't miss out on opportunities, even when putting yourself forward is uncomfortable.
  5. Putting the energy back into interaction: Good energy is key to good speaking and to speaking up, and Energised: An Introvert's Guide to Effective Communication looks at methods of speaking and communication that don't drain introverts' energy--as being around lots of people usually does. It's another effort to put the positive back into what many introverts see as a lose-lose situation.