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9 Feb 2015

Introverts and Extroverts as Speakers

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Introverts and Extroverts

Introverts and extroverts as speakers can both like and dislike the role.

Introverts and extroverts as speakers differ in their sources of energy. Introverts derive it from the content, extroverts from the event.

Introversion and extroversion describe sources of energy. Too often though we only talk about these two types in terms of how they relate to people. Public speaking is a good example of this. Introverts fear it, and extroverts relish it. So it goes anyway.

In reality, introverts can like speaking, and extroverts can dislike it. Introverts can be good at it, and extroverts bad. We can see this if we apply the source of energy model to this. This is more in line with Carl Jung’s view, the originator of this way to look at people.

Difference between Introverts and Extroverts as Speakers

The major difference between introverts and extroverts as speakers is their source of energy to speak. With introverts it comes from inside. It is about the content of the talk. With extroverts the energy comes from outside. It is about the event.

For example, a very extroverted speaker once said to me, “Ever since I was a little girl, I liked to be in front of people.” To an introvert, it does matter why she is in front of people. She will not like to talk about something that is not her.

Since extroverts get their energy from outside, the size and grandeur of the event matters much. The bigger the stage the better it is for them. Since introverts get their energy from inside, the importance of the topic matters much to them.

Sabotaging Introverts and Extroverts as Speakers

Public speaking can give anxiety to both introverts and extroverts as speakers. About 75% of the population suffers from speech anxiety. A fifth fears it. For introverts it is, “Can I really talk about this?” For extroverts it is, “Can I really fit here?”

Introverts might fear that they do not know the subject well or there is little interest in the content of their talk. Extroverts fear that the people or conditions are not right for them. For both these fears sabotage their source of energy.

Still, we need to remember that pure extroverts and introverts do not exist. We are all a blend. That means introverts and extroverts as speakers can be enjoyable for all of us.

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