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Female presentation skills AKICOLJ

Can anyone suggest some examples of women who are probably quite introverted (or at least quiet), who have good presentation skills?

(Ideally, supply links to YouTube clips!)

Context: I gave a presentation skills course yesterday, and used some examples of different styles of presentation, and - and this hadn't occurred to me before a female participant pointed it out - all my examples were male. This particular participant self-desctribed herself as an introvert, so I'd like to find some good presentation models for her. The best we could come up with on the day were Hilary Clinton, Fiona Bruce and Teresa May.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
I would think that you'd have trouble finding introverted presenters. Mainly because introverts don't exactly seek the limelight.

If I were looking for them, I'd probably start with business, rather than politics or media, because that's where competence, rather than just personality are what gets one to the top office.

For openers, there's google employee 20 and yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

Aug. 7th, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Marissa Mayer's not a bad call.

I take your point about introverted presenters. But introverts can be good presenters (I think I'm both, and I think the girl I taught yesterday could be too). It might be that they have to use a different style - maybe a more measured, less passionate style than an out-and-out extrovert would, but they can be just as effective.

And I think you're probably right about introverts not tending to go into politics or the media. Of course there are famously few female business leaders, but that's not a bad place to look.
Aug. 7th, 2013 01:38 pm (UTC)
I don't think I would have described any of those three as introverted.
Aug. 7th, 2013 02:00 pm (UTC)
No, me neither. That's why I was looking for alternatives.
Aug. 7th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
OK, this woman isn't an introvert exactly, but she is an excellent speaker, and since my course participant is involved in Scouting too, it's appropriate subject matter!


I could still do with finding a more obviously introverted / quieter style.
Aug. 7th, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
I think the historian Bettany Hughes* is a good presenter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlVtuUJUN2k (You have to sit through a few adverts first.)

* Better than Mary Beard in the ranks of TV historians. Beard is more famous, and a more eminent academic, but I find her gurning TV style distracting, a bit like Phil from Time Team (to whom she bears a remarkable resemblance).
Aug. 7th, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
I suggested Mary Beard, although I'm not sure she fits the characterisation of 'introvert'.

http://eloquentwoman.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/introverted-speaker-at-ted-susan-cain.html seems very relevant.
Aug. 7th, 2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
That's perfect!
Aug. 7th, 2013 09:15 pm (UTC)
My wife. Sorry no You Tube available.

She was introduced to a professor whose work she uses before her talk at the last conference she went to. When she talked to him after her talk, he was surprised how much more confident she was when giving her talk, than when they were introduced.
Aug. 7th, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)

I'd say me :-p but there is no recorded proof... But if you can find any clips of Catherine Rabb from Johnston & Wales university, Bacchus says she would be perfect. He was having a conversation with her about just this with her last week.

One observation from me would be though that I don't think introversion is a barrier to public speaking, it's to do with how you recharge. Yes, introverts are often shy, but it's not the same thing. I'm an introvert, but I'm fine at speaking. The main thing for me is confidence in my knowledge of the subject. I could do an off the cuff talk on procurement quite happily as I know what I'm talking about, ask me to do it on something I didn't know about & I'd find that a lot more stressful, but you can learn to cope with it . There is also a difference between public speaking & teaching, I find teaching a large class more draining & difficulty than public speaking or 1 to 1 teaching.

Aug. 8th, 2013 10:45 am (UTC)
Yes, agreed on all points. I couldn't find anything really suitable by Catherine Rabb.
Aug. 8th, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)
One of my favorite recent examples is Susan Cain: TED talk on the power of introverts.

Introverts actually tend to be better presenters -- except when an obvious emotional response is needed. Introverts may not want to be part of a crowd for very long, but that does not mean that we are shy or avoid the limelight. Many people are surprised to find out how many actors are actually major introverts.

To answer another comment, Hillary Clinton is most likely an introvert, from what I've seen, likely an INTJ or INTP. Don't look at what she's been doing lately, as she's obviously been working to come out of her shell. If you look instead at her from before & during her husband's presidency, she exhibited almost all of the typical introvert's qualities: measured tones, obviously thinking before she spoke the majority of the time, seldom showing her inner feelings/thoughts, etc.

Edited at 2013-08-08 05:01 am (UTC)
Aug. 8th, 2013 10:55 am (UTC)
bunn got there before you with the Susan Cain recommendation, which is absolutely perfect. I actually agree with you that introverts tend to be better presenters (like I said, I think I'm pretty good and I generally test as 'strongly introverted'). The acting thing is also true - acting is a way of concealing your true personality I suppose.
Aug. 9th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC)
acting is a way of concealing your true personality I suppose.

Nope. As an actor, I can tell you that the actor's personality is always, always, always part of the performance. It may not be an aspect that most people who know the actor off-stage know (or that the actor prefers to show), but it's always part of the actor. Many actors & acting teachers talk about how you have to be willing to drag your truest self out on stage. Plus, during an audition, unless you already have a relationship with the casting folks, your personality is all you have.
Aug. 9th, 2013 09:05 am (UTC)
That's interesting - and not what I would have expected. Does that make it harder to play characters that you don't identify or at least sympathise with?
Aug. 10th, 2013 01:16 am (UTC)
It really does. :) Which is why most acting teachers/coaches/whatever tell their students that they have to find something within the character with which they can identify. Sometimes, it starts as simply as "my character's favourite colour/animal is the same as mine, and nobody who loves this colour/animal can be all bad." Then, of course, you have to build from that.

And, surprisingly, playing villains is actually fun once you realize that very, very few people see themselves as a villain. We're all the hero of our own story, and so it becomes a case of sorting out what the character is thinking/wanting underneath how it looks to the other characters & the audience.
Aug. 9th, 2013 05:29 pm (UTC)
Your journal thinks I spammed you. I didn't! But I did comment with three links to TEDtalks...
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )