Confidence-Building Public Speaking Tips for Introverted Writers

I used to be incredibly afraid of public speaking. I started with five people, then I’d speak to 10 people. I made it up to 75 people, up to 100, and now I can speak to a very large group, and it feels similar to speaking to you one-on-one. — Robin S. Sharma

image by GooKingSword
image by GooKingSword

As writers are expected to perform more marketing tasks to promote their books, speaking ability becomes more crucial. Being prepared is key in holding the jitters to a healthy level and feeling confident.

  1. Consider your audience before you develop a new talk or rework one you’ve already presented.
image by klimkin
image by ClkerFreeVectorImages

Why it makes sense: Wouldn’t it be nice to know the person you approach at a social gathering is a widow before you start promoting your book on saving marriages? It’s the same with a larger audience.



  • Ask for the demographics of the audience.
  • Gear your humor, illustrations, and focus to your audience.
  • Give lead-ins where necessary; don’t assume attendees know things.

If your audience feels comfortable with you, you’ll receive more smiles and nods of encouragement. 

  1. Include stories—from your personal life and those you’ve collected.
image by ClkerFreeVectorImages
image by ClkerFreeVectorImages

Why it makes sense: You’re a writer. You know people enjoy listening to and learning from stories.

  • some should be funny (not jokes!)
  • some should touch emotions
  • personal ones should also be universal so the audience identifies
  • they should fit the theme or lesson of the talk
  • they should have a point
  • they should be told, not read
  • they should include details, e.g. my skeptical girlfriends vs. my women friends
  • real-life ones should include twists or exaggeration for greater pay off—emotional or humorous (writer’s license, but don’t veer too far from the truth)

If you know your stories, you have less to freeze up on.

  1. Write out your talk, record it, rewrite it, and practice, practice, practice. 
image by mvscreativos
image by mvscreativos


Why it makes sense: These help you get to what will work for you on stage. And, you’re mapping out your audience’s experience and takeaway.



  • Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said.
  • Keep your talk focused; refuse to ramble.
  • Search for the right words:
    • For more power, use words starting with hard consonants (gripped vs. held; his lip curled vs. his lip rose)
    • For humor, look for funny words (gussied up vs. dressed nicely)
  • Work on pauses and natural-looking gestures.

If you’ve thought out your talk ahead of time and practiced, practiced, practiced, your talk will be like singing a song you know. And, you won’t be making decisions of what to say on stage.

  1. Tell a Self-deprecating humorous story.
image by ClkerFreeVectorImages
image by ClkerFreeVectorImages

Why it makes sense: People like to laugh. And these stories help people connect with you.

  • It’s all right to be vulnerable, but avoid confessions for shock value.
  • Even tough life-moments can be written in a humorous manner and make a point or inspire.
  • Telling a relevant, humorous self-deprecating story can give the audience a rest from hard, emotional stuff you’ve just covered.

If you tell funny stories on yourself, you may feel more comfortable that you aren’t picking on anyone else. They may be easier to tell because you know what happened and how you felt.

Tips to help introverted writers give confident talks. Click to tweet.

What is the one part of speaking that scares you the most?

18 Speaking Tips to Rivet Your Audience

“Your goal should not be to ‘deliver a presentation.’ It should be to inspire your audience, to move them, and to encourage them to dream bigger.” —Amy Carmine Gallo

image by ArtsyBee
image by ArtsyBee

If I’m going to put my trembling body before an audience, I want to rivet the members with what I believe is important.

I read, Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo. Here are 18 tips from what I learned from Gallo’s book and other research. I suggest you read Gallo’s book for more tips, many examples, and explanations behind the “secrets.”

18 Tips to Rivet Your Audience

  1. image by Alexas_Fotos
    image by Alexas_Fotos
    Speak from your heart on what you believe and are passionate about .
  2. Tell personal stories that take the audience on a journey and reach members’ hearts and minds.
  3. Include unexpectedness in your stories, something that veers from what listeners expect.



image by hornstromp
image by hornstromp

4. Include villains (challenges perhaps) in your stories and heroes who rise to the challenges and succeed.

5. Deliver talks in a genuine, conversational manner.

6. Record your talk and watch for“ums” and “ahs,”distracting gestures or fidgeting, and lack of eye contact.



7. Use purposeful gestures at key moments. Gallo suggests we keep them within the borders of our:

  1. eyes, 
  2. outstretched fingertips, and 
  3. waist.

8. Employ these techniques to show emphasis:

  1. raise or lower the volume of your voice,
  2. change word delivery from normal pace (190 words per minute), and
  3. pause before or after a key word.

9.  Walk away from the podium occasionally.

10. Reveal something new or give a fresh outlook or solution on an old challenge to inform, educate, and entertain your audience.

11. Be able to write what you want your audience to know in 140 or less characters.

12. Supply a concrete and meaningful “showstopper” (a story, a video, a demonstration, a surprise guest, a prop, or a personal anecdote) to stress your most important point.

image by lizzyliz
image by lizzyliz

13. Employ humor and novelty without trying to be funny, e.g. relate anecdotes, analogies, quotes, videos, or photos that reveal humor in a situation.

14. Limit your talk to 18 minutes. If your talk must go over 18 minutes, build in stories, videos, or demonstrations every 10 minutes.

15. Keep content on slides under 40 words with one theme per slide.

16. Replace words and bullet points with pictures and reduce the number of slides.

17. Develop a “message map.” Gallo suggest we:

  1. Create a 140-character headline.
  2. List 3 key messages.
  3. Reinforce the messages with stories, statistics, and examples. (Enter a word or phrase to represent a story.)

18. Develop talks around the senses, especially vision.

Incorporate these 18 speaking tips to inspire your audience. Click to tweet.

What one thing has worked well in your public speaking?