Power Networking Blog

Rae Stonehouse

Rae Stonehouse

Is Toastmasters good for shy people by Rae StonehouseLike any thought-provoking question, there likely isn’t a definitive answer. This one, as others, would likely fit into the “it depends” category.

Let me preface my comments with sharing that I am a 22 years and counting member of Toastmasters, Past District 21 Governor and a Distinguished Toastmaster. I wouldn’t say that I was painfully shy when I joined Toastmasters but my shyness did limit me significantly.

Nervous WomanThere would seem to me to be at least three separate elements that need addressed in answering this commonly asked question i.e. 1) introversion 2) networking successfully & 3) career.

There seems to be a belief, at least in North America, that being an extravert in the business world, is better than being an introvert. Extravert is good, introvert is bad. Or it would seem that many extraverts would have us believe this and many of my fellow introverts have bought into the myth. Introversion vs extraversion is merely a way to describe where you get your energy from. You might say it is how you recharge your batteries.

Extraverts thrive on activity and being part of and participating in larger groups of people. Some love the crowd scene and being the centre of attention. Good for them! Introverts on the other hand prefer solitary activities, certainly quieter ones. Its hard to recharge when the extraverted world is focused on hustle and bustle. As an introvert, I require a certain amount of ‘me time’ to recharge and participate in the numerous creative activities I have underway at any given time. I will go on record as saying that I would much rather party with an extravert though!

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