Browsing: Public Speaking

The Yin and Yang of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.


My Notes From TED 2013 | @SusanCain

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My TED Talk

Here it is, the latest installment in my Year of Speaking Dangerously — a TED talk in Long Beach, California. Hope you enjoy!


Adele, the Introvert? (Plus, More News from the QUIET Media Blitz)

Hi everyone, Take a look at this Anderson Cooper interview of Adele, on her discomfort with fame — and her stage fright: (Plenty of extroverts suffer stage fright too, of course, and some introverts love the stage — but see what you think.) “Adele: I wanted to be a singer forever. But it’s not really […]


Public Speaking for the Soft-Spoken

“Be yourself. Don’t feel you need to mimic the testosterone level of a motivational speaker. You will look and feel fake. Robert Kennedy never tried to copy Martin Luther King’s rhetorical skills. RFK was soft-spoken. He owned that. And as a result, was every bit as affecting as King.” This quote comes from a terrific Harvard […]


QUIET, the Movie, is Coming Soon!

Hi everyone, I’m excited to report that we just finished shooting a one-minute movie about QUIET. The whole project was spearheaded by my awesome publisher, Crown Publishing. (Crown is ridiculously devoted to the cause of QUIET: The Book, and to the Quiet Revolution in general, and I’m grateful to be working with them.) When Crown […]


Seven Public Speaking Tips from Gina Barnett, a Communications Coach For TED Speakers and C-Suite Leaders

My latest step in my Year of Speaking Dangerously was to make an appointment with the lovely Gina Barnett, a respected consultant who works with many CEOs and TED speakers. Gina is a former actor and playwright whose goal is to teach non-actors what actors know about the body and voice. Yesterday was our first […]


If You Could Go Back and Change One Decision in Your Life, What Would It Be?

Recently, I had the chance to participate in an intimate salon for 65 women leaders of different ages, hosted by the inimitable Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the Acumen Fund, and Batool Hassan, a Business Development Manager at Acumen. (This is a photo of Jacqueline, and that’s my left shoulder on the bottom right…) The evening […]


Um, Ah, Er: Does Hesitation Make You a Better Speaker?

Have you ever wished you could eradicate the “ums” and “ahs” right out of your conversation, and especially your public presentations? Turns out those verbal fillers may play an important role in establishing trust, according to this Slate magazine article by Michael Erard: “…”uh” and “um” don’t deserve eradication; there’s no good reason to uproot them. […]


Words to Live By — Courtesy of Lady Gaga

“When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year old girl. Then I say, ‘Bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.’” (This quote was passed on by the incomparable Debbie Stier, of The Perfect Score Project.)


Who Are Your Favorite Speakers, and Why Does It Matter? (QUIET Revolution, Week Three)

Last week, I attended a special meeting of my Toastmasters Club. We watched videos of the top seven contestants in the World Toastmasters Championship, then discussed their speeches. Every one of the speakers had terrific presence, vocal variety, and control of their movements and gestures. I learned a lot from watching them. Yet with a […]


10 Public Speaking Tips (Plus a Few Questions about Your Year of Speaking Dangerously)

For those participating in the Year of Speaking Dangerously: how’s it going so far? Last week’s assignment was to locate a Toastmasters group near you. This week’s is to attend your first meeting, if you haven’t done so already. Please let us know how it’s going, whether you’ve done nothing more than visited the Toastmasters […]


The QUIET Revolution, Day One: It’s Time to Start Your Year of Speaking Dangerously

Do you want to become the best and bravest public speaker you can be? Here’s your chance, inspired and supported by other readers of this blog.


If He Can Do It (Public Speaking), So Can You

If you fear public speaking, this story will inspire you. (It was posted on my Psychology Today blog, in response to my article on “Why You Fear Public Speaking, And What To Do About It.“) “My story is that I started out with SEVERE communication apprehension. It was so bad in my early twenties that […]


Five Ways To Beat Performance Anxiety

This post is in honor of my friend Daphna Stern, who will be singing at a benefit this weekend. Daphna is kind and radiant, and she has a naturally regal bearing and gorgeous voice. And yet, and yet, she’s shy, especially at the microphone. She asked me for tips on beating performance anxiety. My first […]


Public Speaking for Introverts (Courtesy of Robert F. Kennedy)

“Be yourself. Don’t feel you need to mimic the testosterone level of a motivational speaker. You will look and feel fake. Robert Kennedy never tried to copy Martin Luther King’s rhetorical skills. RFK was soft-spoken. He owned that. And as a result, was every bit as affecting as King.” This quote comes from a terrific Harvard […]


The Best Public Speaking Advice I’ve Ever Gotten…

…comes from T.J. Walker, a media trainer and speaking coach. He says that you should always practice your talk on videotape before you give your speech. It’s not enough to memorize it out loud, not enough to recite it in front of a mirror. You should do an honest-to-god dress rehearsal, to see if your […]


QUIZ: Are You an Approacher, an Avoider — or Both? And Why Does it Matter?

Yesterday I posted about approach-avoidance conflicts, especially in the context of public speaking. If you feel anxious about speaking (or anything else), there’s a good chance that some of your discomfort can be traced to your ambivalent feelings about it. For example, public speaking feels inherently dangerous to me (avoidance), and yet I want to […]


Why You Fear Public Speaking, and What to Do About It

Over the years I’ve come to realize that my relationship to public speaking is one big approach/avoidance conflict. Since this is true of many people, and since approach/avoidance lies at the heart of many an emotional roadblock, let me share with you everything I’ve figured out on this topic: 1. If I didn’t care about […]


Public Speaking for Introverts: Tip #1 (Courtesy of Malcolm Gladwell)

I have a really complicated relationship to public speaking. The mere prospect of giving a lecture used to make me want to throw up.  Literally. Once during law school, I got so nervous that I had to bolt for the restroom on the way to class. (I can’t believe I’m admitting this to the entire […]

Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012


1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

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