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Extrovert Vs Ambivert Vs Introvert – 10 Speakers and their Guide to Confidence

By Sujany Baleswaran

When we picture an extrovert, our mind instantaneously paints a sociable, loud, and life of the party persona, but does extrovert equal confidence? For some of us, confidence is an innate trait, for others, it requires a bit more work. Some will hesitate to take on a social task, some will take the opportunity, and others will thrive in that environment.

Does confidence waver over the spectrum of extrovert to introvert? Stepping on stage, mic in hand requires an impressive amount of confidence and self-belief. We spoke to 10 international speakers as they answer the burning question ‘can introverts be confident?’ with a glimpse into their journey and their guide to confidence.

Cel Amade

“Recognise your inner champion, take inspired action, and design your own world…”

Featured on TEDx and Prospects UK, Cel Amade is an author, speaker and personal development trainer empowering the younger generation to redefine success.

I am 100% introverted whenever I am off stage or outside my zone of genius. Before confidence comes acceptance, healing and forgiveness. Knowing what we love to do or what our strengths are is one thing. Putting our strengths to use is an entirely different conversation!

For two years, I dreamed of bringing personal development to our youth. I thought about speaking. But every time I tried to stand up, I found more than enough reasons to sit back down. I had all these stories about being an immigrant, having nowhere near a British accent, not having a degree in teaching. All my labels.

Often we have a tendency to dim our brilliance. I replaced all the disempowering stories I told myself of why I couldn’t live my dream. Then I had to forgive myself for withholding my knowledge for so long. I understood that the more I exercised my confidence muscle, the stronger it became. Sometimes I ponder, who else could I have helped if I had enough confidence seven years ago…

My top tips for women struggling with their confidence are as follows:

  1. Surround yourself with a tribe of women who can hold you accountable to achieve your dreams. When your confidence waivers, give yourself permission to borrow theirs.
  2. Embrace your failures.
  3. Be consistent. Anything multiplied by zero is equal to zero.
  4. Speak your truth.
  5. Celebrate your small victories and fall in love with the person you are becoming.
  6. Ask for feedback on two things you did well and one thing you could do better.

Elaine Powell

Success is 80% mindset and 20% skills

Passionate about developing human potential, delving into the art of peak performance and public speaking, Elaine Powell is the Founder of MindSpeak Academy and award-winning speaker.

To many, I would appear to be an extrovert. I used to do stand-up comedy and find being on stage a very comfortable place to be. But I am also very reflective and get my energy source from within, not from others, placing me in the middle of the spectrum as an ambivert.

I joined Toastmaster International, which has amateur speaking clubs throughout the world. At my first icebreaker speech of 5 minutes, I found myself saying fifty-two umms and urrs. By my second speech, I got it down to just five. Speaking clubs are a great environment to be supported, develop and grow your confidence.

Spend as much time as you can on personal development and working on your mindset. It has been said that success is 80% mindset and 20% skills. I can teach people TEDx and public speaking skills, but only you can develop your mindset. So be brave, know that speaking is not about you, it is about how can you serve others and then go out and speak. You will get better, trust me.

Patience Ogunbona

“Impossible is an opinion, feel free to disagree and carve out your pathway to success.”

Using her voice as a force for change and putting her confidence to the test, the Founder of Aspire-Transform-Inspire, Patience Ogunbona, is a two-time quarter and semi-finalist in John Maxwell Stagetime speaking competition.

At the core I am an introvert and very happy to be one. I love a quiet life, filled with times of reflection because I need it to operate at my optimal best. To the public, I am an ambivert, meaning that when it is required, I adapt to thrive. Confidence comes from:

  • Accepting who I am and working to be my authentic self.
  • Discovering and leveraging my strengths to thrive.
  • Enhancing my natural ability by training and developing expertise.
  • Choosing to collaborate rather than compete.

For those seeking confidence:  

  • Put yourself in positions that stretch you so that you can grow and the more you grow the more you give your inner critic the evidence that you can rise to challenges.
  • Acknowledge, celebrate and remind yourself of your successes.
  • Surround yourself with people that believe in your potential, such as coaches, mentors, and like-minded peers so that even when you are unsure, you can borrow their beliefs.
  • Develop expertise that helps you position yourself as an authority.

Brigitta Hoeferle

It took me 35 years to learn that the way I am is not “bad” – it is who I am.

Founder of The Montessori School of Cleveland, Brigitta Hoeferle is a powerful international speaker and fast-tracked female trainer, who has been invited to speak on stages all over the globe.

Ever since I was a little girl, I was “too much” for my mother and my sisters: too loud, too chatty, too energetic, too enthusiastic, too “Brigitta”, aptly meaning “one of strength”. 

So one could say, I am a born extrovert.

Back in my days working in corporate Germany, my co-workers loved being “entertained” by me, my customers loved my “can do attitude” and I enjoyed putting my – what seems like never ending energy – to good use!  It took me about 35 years to learn that the way I am is not “bad” – it is who I am.

For many years, female leaders would look up to me and ask me how I do what I do, but because I was born this way, I did not know how to create this specific way of being. It took me years of studying human behaviour and applying my learning intentionally to bring me to these 3 steps to confidence, to not just learn about myself, but recreate it intentionally and teach “how to be confident” to others:

OWN it is an acronym for having confidence without wanting to make you something you are not:

OWN your genius: you have ONE special gift, may you be introverted, extroverted or ambiverted.

OWN your way of being: WIN others over with your personality – if are you more caring, fun-loving, planning or fact seeking; should you be soft spoken, outspoken, a know-it-all or risk averse – you are YOU and you can learn to flex into the other values easily!

OWN your time and space NOW: you were not meant to “manage” your time, but you own your time – make the best of the here and now. 

Focus on One Win Now.

Jacqueline Shaulis

‘Embracing your awesome is the radical act of saving yourself to save others.’

Guiding introverted women of colour to get seen and heard, Jacqueline Shaulis leveraged her success and failures to become an international speaker and global best-selling author.

Hearing the term “introvert”, may bring words like “shy”, “quiet”, or “anti-social” to mind. Misperceptions about introversion can unduly disqualify introverted women from opportunities (including in her own mind). 

Yet, influential women like Beyonce, Naomi Osaka, Viola Davis, and Rosa Parks are self-identified introverts who counter the narrative about introversion.

Introversion and extroversion are simply descriptors of the spectrum of how one processes stimulation. We’re all gradients (not shades) of grey and neither is inherently better (or worse).

For introverts, boundaries are key. They’re internal processors who need reflection and time away from stimulation to make sense of their world. Make time to process and confidently respond by adding value. 

For extroverts, collaboration is key. They’re external processors who need stimulation and engagement with their world to make sense of it. Talk (and walk) through thoughts with others to assess value along the way.

For ambiverts, balance is key. Adjacent to omniverts, they need both engagement and reflection to make sense of their world. Being super talkative in some situations and super quiet in others is necessary to bring insights and value to either scenario.

These powerful women credit their introversion for their successes. By honouring your place on the spectrum, you too can be influential and introverted.

Harriet Waley-Cohen

“Step into the most powerful version of yourself.”

Hunted down to speak for audiences including Microsoft and Sky, Harriet Waley-Cohen navigates the topics of 2022 with an intersectional feminist approach, from diversity and equity to women and self-worth.

I would consider myself an extroverted introvert. Building my confidence was about letting go of any fears or limiting beliefs I had about my own worth, none of which were true, and instead focusing on the facts of my own worth, abilities and what I bring to the table. I have also found over the years that the people in my life can impact my confidence for the better or for worse. Toxic relationships have been detrimental at times, and letting these go has been really important for my self-belief as well as having a wonderful, supportive group of friends, colleagues and people around me.

To any woman who is struggling with her confidence, I would say that it is really important to differentiate between fears and opinions, and facts when it comes to yourself. Fears and opinions are not the same as facts, and if you let them dominate your self-belief, it can be a struggle. Instead, focus on your personality strengths, and values, your extensive experience, wisdom and achievements. This is who you really are! 

Ersula Odom

‘During any external limiting influence, create your personal sweet spot and thrive.’

Transforming stories into books, performances and legacy walls, Ersula Odom is the Founder of Sula Too publishing company, motivational speaker and legacy writer.

I was very shy as a child. It would take several times hearing a question before I would give an answer, for fear of being wrong. One day as I sat in the classroom, I knew the answer to a teacher’s question, I sat there until another student raised her hand and gave her answer, but she pronounced it incorrectly. I could not believe I missed that opportunity to get credit. Never again.

Building on my confidence during my career years, I repeatedly became the subject matter expert. I volunteered to learn new information and then became the go-to person for the department.

Lack of confidence is when you don’t know what you’re talking about, but you’re talking anyway. That will shake anybody’s personal position. But if you speak from a position of knowledge, confidence comes naturally. If you love what you are sharing, you will shine brightly.

Dr Aleksandra Plazinic

“Communicate your way to success”

From a PhD in Communications to the United Nations, combining the latest neuroscience research and mindfulness techniques, Dr Aleksandra Plazinic has designed a coaching practice for executives to level up their presentation and communications skills.

I am an extroverted, outgoing and social person. I have always liked to get to know new people – connecting, reaching out, and collaborating.

To build my confidence, I had to step into my power, which meant matching my competence with my confidence. In that process, I brought my abilities, skills, and expertise into my awareness. As an over-achiever with imposter syndrome, I often overlooked and belittled them, which impacted my self-confidence. At the same time, I worked on my positive inner dialogue and turned it around to encourage myself through positive affirmations, self-love, and encouragement.  

Working on my authentic voice and communications was a big breakthrough. The point was not to completely change who I am, but to let my authenticity shine through.

  1. Make a list of all the things that you excel at and bring into the limelight.
  2. Practice makes it perfect. Fake it till you make it! Our mind learns from repetition and by building new neuro-connections the mindset, behaviours, and emotions change. 
  3. Work on your fears! Sometimes they prevail and tend to hijack our lives…
  4. Choose your surrounding wisely. We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so surround yourself with people, things, experiences that support, inspire you, and encourage you to strive for the best.
  5. Work on your authenticity.

Claudia Romero

I push myself out of my comfort zone to deliver.

From the mining industry of Chile to business in Scotland, Claudia Romero leveraged her knowledge to create a non-traditional productivity approach to help women in business to achieve their targets.

I am more of an introverted and reflective person, but also sociable when I feel comfortable in a situation. I am not the kind of person that break the ice or talks too much with strangers, I have to feel at ease to really show my personality, leaning towards an ambivert persona.

Confidence is not a sign of extroverted people only. I’ve always felt confident in myself, my capacities and knowledge but that sometimes doesn’t translate into stepping onto a stage in front of an audience. I feel there is a misconception of the meaning of the word.

When I am stepping on stage, I am confident of my knowledge, but that is also mixed with feelings of anxiety, insecurity and nerves. But because I am confident on my message, I push myself out of my comfort zone to deliver.

Building confidence is knowing your own strengths, focus on those and discover how you can exploit them to your advantage but also understand your weaknesses to see how you can improve and turn them into something positive. That is the foundation of feeling confident in life, and you don’t have to be an extrovert to achieve that. 

Kenqwonna Moneak Clarke

Audacious living is contagious, so make a habit of making moves!

K.Moneak has graced multiple stages from Global Woman to Harvard Law School, sharing her expertise. Creating her own virtual stage, K.Moneak hosts her very own global podcast, sharing her insights into the digital world of branding and business.

I’ve known I was an extrovert since I was a child. I was always comfortable introducing myself to new individuals and groups of people. Feeling at home in front of the room – talking, singing, and leading. Whether you are quiet or a little more vocal, keep in mind that others will always have an opinion of you. I learnt this the hard way during my life, with others in the background repeating how extra or how loud I was. I was often told or made to feel that I do too much. The negative seeds were sown over and over again.  

However, one day while working with a client, I got a glimpse of how awesome I really am. It was like passing a full length mirror and seeing yourself for the first time. The steps I used from that day on to build my confidence are the tips I am sharing with you right now: 

  1. Healing by detoxing and detaching from everything and everyone that no longer serves you. Pluck up the negative seeds sown in your heart and mind. This clearing will allow you to heal and win in life!
  2. I took a pact with myself to be me no matter what. I decided not to mute myself or dim my own light to make others comfortable. 
  3. Harness your superpower. Practice balance in your life, whether you are an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert, having balance is the key to interacting with others in life.

You’ve Got The Goods! You are perfect just the way you are. So, get comfortable in your skin and being more than enough. 

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