How to be visible online as an introvert

If we haven’t met before, my name is Laura Payne-Stanley I’m a professional speaker for businesses and organisations, and I’ve been a TEDx Speaker too…… and I’m also an introvert.

Which makes me very qualified to talk about this topic of how to be visible online as an introvert, and well indeed how to be visible anywhere as an introvert.

When I talk about introversion, and being an introvert, people are often shocked.

But you do:

  • TEDx talks
  • Host your own events
  • Network with industry leaders

And yes that is all true, but I am an introvert to my core.

How do I know?

Let me explain about introversion; two people go to an event, for the introvert, they experience it as the battery draining down the more they are around people.

For an extrovert, at the same event the battery is being charged when they are around people.

This is really just a metaphor for what is happening at a neurobiological level with introverts and extroverts, and literally having different nervous systems.

In a study by Dr Carl Schwartz, he concluded that babies who become introverts, had a more jumpy or reactive amygdala to novelty, or anything new.

Which in turn that put an increase load on the nervous system to react to novelty whether threatening or completely safe.

Let’s look at introversion and myths about being an introvert:

  • Introverts hate to socialise
  • Introverts are extremely shy – often mistaken for hanging back and scoping out the room before joining in. Check the outer walls for your fellow introverts
  • Introverts are more likely to get depressed
  • Introverts lack confidence
  • Introverts and extroverts don’t get along
  • You need to be an extrovert to be successful in business
  • To be a speaker you need to be an extrovert

Traits of being an introvert:

  • Some of the best business days are no calls, no meetings, no zooms
  • Overstimulated easily in big environments
  • Great listeners in a social setting
  • Awesome talkers
  • Early to events and usually the ones sitting in car parks, as the idea of walking into a room late can be crippling.
  • Podcasting can be a great way for an introvert to get visible
  • Appreciated the cadence of being with people and alone time to maintain a harmony
  • Post speaking gig, client session, seminar – they run for the toilets or want to be alone, they are not opting to go out for drinks or continue the party on
  • Private one-to-one work can be easier to manage than one to many or group programs or live trainings/ sessions

In this blog post I want to focus on being an introvert and how to be visible either online or in person, when your natural tendency is to hide.

When it comes to being visible let’s consider the helicopter or a jet fighter on an aircraft carrier.   The helicopter can be like the extrovert, powers up and it takes off right away.   For the introvert being more similar to the jet fighter, they need a longer runway to take off.  However both eventually take off, just at different speeds.

Unfortunately often in business and when it comes to being visible online, it can often be thought of that the helicopter approach is the only way to do this and what is best for everyone.

Ask yourself are you an introvert or extrovert and what length of runway and run off (the time after an event) do you need?

You might be reading this post as an extrovert and I do welcome you, because it can be so powerful as an extrovert to understand the world of introverts.

In a society that can elicit that extroversion is the only way to be successful, for an introvert it is incredibly important to say what you need in order to do you best work.

Here are some examples:

  • If you are speaking at an event that has been organized by extroverts, remember to state what you need from the green room as you escape space, to space following your talk before a meet and greet.
  • Being visible online and embracing the longer runway. An example of this would be use prerecorded content or practice in a closed Facebook group or on private mode, before hitting that LIVE and figuring it out in the moment.
  • Introverts like to manage variables to reduce anxiety, so call times, what mics you are using, set ups, group photo times to handling Q&A and what format to expect the questions in.
  • Introverts tend to think before they talk – and can need a beat before answering. Have a phrase that shares with the audience what you are doing, “let me just take a beat whilst I think about what you just asked” - even this gives you a beat to formulate your answer.
  • Panel – if you are on the panel, be sure to share with the panel host you are an introvert and might not be the 1st to dive in. A great panel host will make sure that the conversation happens amongst the whole panel.
  • So NO to what you are not happy doing. Don’t want to answer on the spot questions, or about a certain topic.  If as an introvert you are scared or traumatised from an experience being put on the spot at a young age, so you’ll only answer pre-qualified questions
  • You don’t get over fear of flying by chucking someone skydiving out of a plane, if you have a fear of anything around public speaking, or answering questions then state your boundaries.
  • Space and time to process – can't reiterate that enough. If you as an introvert need space following a talk or being online, before you do a meet and greet, then ask for what you need.

In a post pandemic world whilst in person events might be less than before, as an introvert walking into a room of unknown people can be a large stress filled event.  Here are some more Tips for managing introversion in an in person setting:

  • Get somewhere early, so you can scope out the room before it gets noisy
  • Practice any intros or pieces of information you might need
  • Find your “take a beat” spaces, the toilets are great and introverts who smoke can use smoking as their way of taking a beat
  • Manage your energy, especially when at a longer event

The last point is especially important if you are going to a 2 or 3 day conference, and instead of attending the social events the first night, you need to conserve and recharge ahead of the next day.

Now let us move to talking about being visible online when you are an introvert:

  • Pre-record as much content as possible
  • When going live find fellow introverts who matches your energy
  • Find a personal branding photographer who understands how to shoot introverts (I have some amazing recommendations, and contact me for them).
  • Find a hair and make up artist, who understands introverts, example if you are in the chair before a talk, you might not want to chit chat, but be quiet and practice your talk in your mind.
  • How to connect with your audience, without always showing your face or talking to camera. As I’ve mentioned podcasting and audio works well for this, as well as written content and when you are creating content and being visible with your whole self, look to batch content creation or interviews as much as possible.
  • Focus on engagement and connection online and not just publishing content

Also remember like attracts like and if you are an introvert, your audience might also be introverts, so how do you like to connect, and they will the same way.

If you're looking for support to move your business and life forward, you can work with me in the following ways:

Firstly a 90 minute on demand session, for a super boost of top-line strategy for how to kick off your 2022 for success.

Secondly a private accelerator day in person or on Zoom and 30 days of support, including 2 121 sessions. 

And if you are ready to work together 121, then why not come and listen to the podcast over on Apple Podcasts called Wielding Legacy


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