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Are you an introvert? This one's for you.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? If you're not familiar with these terms, let me summarise them for you. Extroverts find energy from interaction with other human beings, prefer to think out loud and enjoy being in vibrant surroundings. Introverts find energy when they are alone, prefer to think before expressing their opinions and enjoy quiet surroundings. Here's a quiz for you to find out whether you're an introvert, extrovert or an ambivert (which is a combination of both).

confidence

I'm currently reading a book called Quiet, by Susan Cain. I've not finished it yet, but the book begins with a discussion about how society nowadays has this perception that being extroverted is the ideal. But in reality, being an introvert is equally as awesome as being an extrovert - even if we don't see it much in the media.

Growing up, I was always described as "quiet" by my teachers, but my family and closest friends knew I was far from it. I just preferred to absorb and process information in my head rather than think out loud. Surrounded by classmates who talked loudly and expressed everything on their minds, I can understand how other introverts can feel out of place. We introverts may wait for the right time to speak up, but the right time never arrives because everyone else just won't stop talking. And when we do get a chance to speak, some of us speak too softly that nobody hears us.

So how can introverts learn to speak with confidence and clarity? I believe that confidence comes from being comfortable with yourself. You don't have to try to be like everyone else. There are people who like to think out loud, and there are people who prefer only to speak after they've done the thinking.  Once you're comfortable with yourself and your introverted nature, you'll feel less self-conscious and more likely to speak up when you have something you need to say. Nobody is judging anyone for being quiet or loud - everybody is busy thinking about themselves.

But what about that soft voice most introverts have? A clear and strong voice is important especially when we need to speak in meetings or during presentations. I find that reading out loud and doing vocal exercises can help. Do this in front of close friends and family so that they can give you feedback. Are you loud enough? Do you speak clearly? Do you sound confident?

Being an introvert myself, I now have recognised the learning styles that I need to adapt to in order to express my views and thoughts more clearly. I hope that this message will help you to appreciate that being "quiet and reserved" is just as valuable as being "loud and outgoing". We just have to recognise where our strengths are and leverage on those strengths when it comes to communicating with others.

Each and every person is unique and there is a place in this world for every personality. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, share with us your experience in speaking with confidence. What challenges do you face and how have you overcome them? Leave us a comment below this post. We love hearing from you.

The difference between "lend" and "borrow"

Not too long ago, my family and I were at our favourite restaurant to have our usual weekend brunch. The place is usually packed with customers, so sometimes it would take a few minutes or so to find an empty table.

lend vs borrow

Continue reading The difference between "lend" and "borrow"

How to read more books

When I was a kid, I used to love reading. Back in primary school, we had these clear plastic pouches where our teachers would put in a different book each day for us to read at home. I'd rush home and make my mum read a book with me every night.

read more books

Continue reading How to read more books

Play around with English tongue twisters

Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Tongue twisters and nursery rhymes make such wonderful vocal exercises to loosen your stiff tongue. They have long been used by actors, politicians, and speakers to help them speak more clearly because they're just that effective.

In a vocal training class I attended, we'd recite several tongue twisters in order to feel the "r'" and "l" sounds roll out of our mouth. Saying your vowels, like eeeaaauuu, and ooo, aloud continuously can help make your voice come out strong and pure.

Continue reading Play around with English tongue twisters

What do you do with your time?

What's your hobby? Some of my friends tell me they don't really have fun as they're too busy to incorporate any fun activities (other than online shopping!) in their lives.

So, let me rephrase the question. How much time do you spend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like?

Can you quantify it?

Continue reading What do you do with your time?

3 Ways to Deal with Procrastination

When it comes to learning, whether it’s improving our English, or anything else that is important to our self-development, we tend to put them aside for later as we deal with more “urgent” matters. This is called procrastination, and almost all of us are guilty of this.

procrastination

Continue reading 3 Ways to Deal with Procrastination

Terrified of public speaking? Don't try to calm down.

Do you get butterflies in your stomach before you have to speak in public? Do your knees feel like jelly? Do you feel like throwing up your lunch (or just have no appetite to eat at all, so there's nothing to throw up anyway)?

Continue reading Terrified of public speaking? Don't try to calm down.

How to understand different accents

One of our subscribers has asked us about how to keep up with somebody who is a fluent English speaker and speaks fast, too. This is a great question as I’m sure there are many of us who have trouble understanding people who talk fast. Plus, there are a lot of different accents out there.

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How to Write Formal Letters

Do you sometimes find it difficult to write a formal letter? As soon as you put pen to paper (figuratively. Who still uses pen and paper?), your mind goes blank and you can't get past "To whom it may concern".

We made this short video after being inspired by one of our readers who asked us to help him with this problem.

Check out our video here.

Do you have any questions you'd like us to address through a video or blog post? Leave a comment below or write to us at info@myenglishmatters.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

Interested to learn more from us? How about joining our free email course, Speaking with Confidence? Sign up below and we'll send you 7 tips to your inbox!

Help! I have poor grammar & I'm afraid people will laugh at me!

We’ve been getting emails from you guys saying that you have no confidence to speak because you have poor grammar and you’re afraid people will laugh at you.

Continue reading Help! I have poor grammar & I'm afraid people will laugh at me!