Interested in more insights on becoming a better public speaker? Mack Collier offers his perspective as a social media expert in “The Introvert’s Guide to Speaking,” a recent post on his popular blog. He covers some important basics that are helpful to introverts and extroverts alike (e.g., tell stories), and points to the social aspects of public speaking. Collier recommends, for example, attending meetups or tweetups before conferences. Good idea—as long as you’ve rested up if you’re an introvert. All the better if you arrive with a few talking points or conversation starters. Get to know and honor the right level of social interaction for you—balancing your need for time to recharge and reflect with your need to learn from others and build your professional network.

Collier offers good self-promotion advice about closing your presentation. “Make sure the audience understands that you want the session to be the START of a connection between you and them, not the end,” he says. Collier recommends that you encourage your audience to e-mail you with questions, connect with you on Twitter.

Polishing your presentation skills is one of the greatest investments you can make in your career, whatever level you’re at. So I hope you’re out there practicing this incredibly important skill set by speaking anyplace, large or small, whenever you can. If you’re just getting started or looking to brush up your skills, seek out opportunities to speak, even for a few minutes a week (e.g., kicking off meetings, introducing other speakers). If you’re further along as a speaker, continually build your skills by focusing on one or two aspects (e.g., hand gestures, Q&A) you want to improve each time you speak. If fear is holding you back, get the support by taking classes, hiring a coach, forming or joining a public speaking special interest group at a professional organization, and/or joining Toastmasters InternationalCLICK HERE for Collier’s story.

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