Johnny Pharr had been an introvert all his life, until he discovered the secrets to being an outrovert.
I’ve always found it difficult to pull off displaying true confidence. My subdued mannerisms and comfort at being by myself gives some folks the wrong impression. I’ve often had the opposite sex tell me they believe I lack self-esteem when that’s not what I’m lacking at all. I’m just very at home with who I am no matter if I am out and about, or enjoying an evening lost in my guitar playing.
So I want to let the introverts in on a few secrets, which will help build self-assurance, and I want you to feel great as you are: introspective, intuitive, a skilled listener, and a person who treasures deeper relationships. I know because I’m an introvert, too. Well, until I got real with myself. Now you might call me an outrovert. It’s a new persona I can hop into with ease, and it still allows me to be true to my nature while I carry myself comfortably and positively. Read on for tips on releasing your outrovert.
- Maintain eye contact. I’ve noticed some introverts tend to inherently drift off or stare down their counterpart with an attentiveness bordering on creepy. Balance is key. It’s okay to avert your gaze during the course of your conversation, but do come back to the speaker and meet their eyes as they express their points.
- Be sure of what you are saying and stick to the facts. For instance, if you’ve read one article on a subject this does not make you an expert. It’s okay to tell people this is the case, too. Lead the conversation by letting them in on your intrigue of the subject. You’ll find relating on this level will return you a lot more positive reactions. Acting as a Know-It-All can also hinder your confidence if your discussion point has shallow depth.
- Body language is essential. Nothing says lack of confidence more than a slouch in your posture or eyes riveted to the ground. Force yourself to get upright. Not only is this key to building your confidence, but standing tall also has health benefits. (I recommend functional fit training to strengthen the muscles surrounding your spine).
- Speak from your diaphragm, projecting your voice. If you whisper it can give people the wrong impression that you are not comfortable with your subject matter, or with your ability to communicate your objectives Make sure those in your group can hear every word because you know what you’re talking about. Now tell them!
- Articulate. Stumbling over words makes you seem less knowledgeable, while articulation causes you to stand out in conversation. I’ve learned people will view you with increased credibility and will pay closer attention to your words when you take the time to define your points. Not only should you pronounce the words correctly but, you should know how to use them properly.
- Be witty! Confident people are well-versed and witty. If you are striving to make an impact, there is no better way leave a favorable impression than to use your wits. Practice comebacks ranging from sarcastic to comedic. Witty = smart. Everyone appreciates clever.
An as experienced introvert, who has put time and effort into better understanding my own motivations, habits and foibles, these are tips that have worked for me. Like anything in life, changing habits and instincts takes time. Just keep at it until you feel more at ease at that work party, in a stalled elevator, or the next time you find yourself speaking in front of a group. No one is asking you to stop being beautiful, quirky you, but wouldn’t it rock if you felt more comfortable in social situations, or if you had a fallback strategy to draw out your outgoing tendencies? They’re in there. Trust me. I’m an expert outravert.
Edited Photo: Flickr/Vincent Diamante