media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg takes a look at three ways that shy PR pros can make their voice heard in the industry.

According to Adrienne Erin, contributor at Muck Rack, there are a few ‘gifts’ that shy or introverted people obtain that can be a great asset to people working in the PR industry.

These include:
  • Introvert gift #1: Having a focus on deeper meanings
  • Introvert gift #2: Being sensitive to others’ needs
  • Introvert gift #3: Caring about their subjects
  • Introvert gift #4: Being exceptional at written communications
  • Introvert gift #5: Making excellent public speeches
Being introverted in the PR world is not exactly ideal, especially considering the fact that PR pros constantly need to communicate with their teams, clients and people within the media industry.

With that said, being shy and introverted is not always a bad thing; however, it’s important to strike a balance between being bashful and making sure that your voice is, indeed, heard.

And so, without further ado, let’s take a look at three ways you can find your voice:

1. Find the courage to speak up

Have you ever been in a meeting with an important client and, while listening to what they have to say, you suddenly notice that there is a big flaw in their plan? But instead of sharing that with everyone, you either whisper something to the person next to you, or you just keep quiet (surely someone else will pick up on it too, right?). Well, that‘s where you’re mistaken ...

In moments like these, you need to find the courage to speak up and share your insights with the rest of the team. Remember, you bring value to the organisation and you have your own spot in the team, which means that what you have to say does matter.

So, how can you go about finding the courage to say your piece?

According to Tiffany Couch contributor at Vault, there are eight ways in which you can gain the courage to speak up. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
  • Agree with good ideas — If you don’t have anything to add in the meeting or you are too shy to do so, then try and agree with some good ideas coming from others. This shows that you are involved in the meeting without placing yourself in the spotlight.
  • Ask questions — This is one of the easier ways to speak up in any situation; if this is a meeting with the PR team or a new client, asking questions shows you are interested and want to learn as much as possible. BONUS: You spoke in the meeting!
  • Practice your delivery — Most of us say “um” or “kinda” when speaking to others, which can make you look uncertain of yourself and even unprepared. Practising a few things you want to say in the meeting beforehand will allow you to deliver a smoother presentation.
  • Speak first — This might seem like a scary step to take in a meeting but, by speaking first, you open the discussion and you get to tell others about your ideas. If you don’t speak first, you might hear someone else having the same concern as you or even the same idea, which will make you feel worried for not having anything to say at all.

2. Find a mentor

If you struggle to speak up, the thought of asking someone else for help might also terrify you. But, asking for help and learning from others doesn’t make you any less of a good PR professional. You’d be surprised to find that most people you admire and think are incredibly confident have had to learn to be that way.

With this in mind, it might be time to find a mentor. The mentor that you want to learn from also doesn’t necessarily have to be in the PR industry. You could find someone in marketing, for instance; just as long as they can teach you a few things in a general sense about being confident in your ideas and in believing in your voice. 

So, how do you find a mentor? Take a look within your network — maybe on a platform like LinkedIn — and get in touch with more confident people that might be willing to take you under their wing.

If communicating with a stranger and asking them to be your mentor seems like too big of a step, you can always reach for a good self-help book. Or, you can take a look at TED Talks where industry professionals share important insights and findings from working in that industry. 

In an article by PReciouscomms, they took a look at five TED Talks that every PR professional should watch. These include:
Taking little steps such as these are far better than taking no steps at all!

3. Take note of your strengths

It can be easy to focus on your weakness and fuel the fear of failure and humiliation, but it takes far greater courage to rather stop and take a note of all your amazing strengths.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re not good at speaking up, but you are excellent at expressing yourself through writing. So, during a meeting, you can write down all your concerns and address it after the meeting as an alternative to speaking up on the spot.

Let’s take a look at a few ways in which you can identify your strengths:
This is a great way to get to know yourself, place your focus on what you are good at and enhance those skills, as well as to focus on your weaknesses and on how you can better yourself constantly.

What are some other ways that you think a PR pro can find their voice? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Speaking of finding your voice, check out these Five things every PR pro can learn from cats. Because if there is one thing cats are excellent at, it’s being vocal!
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy