As an Introvert, I know we can spend a lot of time thinking and then thinking about our thinking. This introspection can seem tiring at times but it’s also a gift. This is especially true when it comes to public speaking. We can turn our natural curiosity and focus it on our audience. A good public speaker needs to relate to their audience. Relatability stems from knowing and understanding those you're speaking to so you can connect with them. Introverts – we’re just naturally good at sizing up people and situation.
Thinking about the audience also shifts your focus. Instead of critically thinking about yourself, you can think about those you're about to serve. What is it they most need to
hear from you? What knowledge do you have that would benefit them? How can you serve this group? Getting out of your own head and into the minds of your audience can really help alleviate your nerves because it’s no longer about you…it’s about them.
Some of your might be thinking - "that's even more pressure-fillled!" But is it? Can you share one actionable idea with this audience? Of course you can. That's why you've been tapped to speak in the first place. Someone had enough confidence in you to extend you this invitation. You have knowledge and experience worth sharing. Go to that well or expertise and consider what is most valuable for your audience. It doesn't have to be life changing information. Maybe it will be but don't set that trap for yourself. It's not all or nothing. It's not life-changing or it's crap. It's something of value. If you deliver value, your audience can take it and do with it what they will. You've done your job and served.
Thinking about the audience is a way of channeling what your brain is already good at (thinking) and giving it a specific task. Your brain will then come up with all kinds of good content you can share instead of serving you all kinds of self-criticism. If you get out of your own head, you free yourself to create and deliver something that will stick in the minds of those who hear from you.