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Are you an introvert looking for ways to improve your communication skills? Looking to become a better public speaker or storyteller?

In this episode, David and his guest Diana Robertson will explore practical strategies for improving communication skills, public speaking, and storytelling – especially if you’re an introvert. We’ll discuss ways to gain confidence and make the process easier so that you can have more meaningful conversations with others.

Diana will also share some different techniques that can help make your communications more dynamic, engaging, and impactful. So what are you waiting for? Listen now to increase confidence in communicating with others and be strong!
 
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Diana Robertson is an award-winning speaker, communication skills trainer, TEDx speaker & coach and founder of Skillsme, a soft skills academy. Having been a shy introvert herself, she has now devoted her life to helping people unleash their potential with the power of communication skills.

Contact Diana:

Website:  skillsme.co.uk

Instagram | LinkedIn

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Contact the host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast: 

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com

Gobio.link/quietandstrong

david [at] quietandstrong.com

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Podcast Transcript

00;00;00;00 – 00;00;28;03
Diana Robertson
So you expose yourself to something scary, but in small amounts, you get some positive feedback. You reflect on yourself, make sure that you’ve got this, you know. You know, you build your self-esteem on that. Just like that. Your confidence grows. Now. But sometimes confidence is not enough. Sometimes you’re lacking the skill, the actual skill of if we’re talking about public speaking, then, you know, engaging the audience, making sure they’re listening to you.

00;00;28;09 – 00;00;54;14
Diana Robertson
I don’t know the skill of storytelling. By the way, another fun fact. People think that some people are just good storytellers, just like that. Just, you know, born that way. And that’s said. And then there is everybody else. Not true. So, yes, some of them might have been born with a skill, but a lot of people need to learn the skills, especially if they are public speakers.

00;00;54;21 – 00;01;05;25
Diana Robertson
But chances are they have actually learned how to tell good stories.

00;01;08;23 – 00;01;32;11
David Hall
Hello and welcome to Episode 103 of the Quiet and Strong Podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, in the creator of Quiet and Strong Gqom. This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, while each episode on a Monday, be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.

00;01;32;20 – 00;02;00;12
David Hall
Leave me a review. That would mean a lot to me. Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. Diana Robertson is an award winning speaker, communication skills trainer, TEDx speaker and coach and founder of Skills Me, a soft skills academy. Having been a shy introvert herself, she has now devoted her life to helping people unleash their potential with the power of communication skills.

00;02;00;25 – 00;02;05;00
David Hall
I’m excited for my guest. Diana. Diana, welcome to the quite Strong podcast.

00;02;05;14 – 00;02;06;28
Diana Robertson
Hi, David. Hi.

00;02;07;16 – 00;02;24;29
David Hall
We’re going to get into the great work that you’re doing and the company that you started. But before we do that, let’s just talk about your own journey you describe. When you’re growing up, you were shy and introverted. How did you work through that to now? Helping people with things like improving their communication skills so sure.

00;02;25;08 – 00;02;57;05
Diana Robertson
Well, I’m going to take you back quite a bit, back to my childhood and to give you a good image of myself. I used to be this very quiet, very shy girl who would always sit at the back corner of the classroom, never raise her hands. And not because I would not know the answers to the questions, but because I just would not want all this attention.

00;02;57;07 – 00;03;18;27
Diana Robertson
And I was afraid, obviously, what would people think? What would especially my classmates? I mean, there was something bad about me, so I would rather just not say anything out loud in front of them and stay quiet. They’re nicely in my lovely cozy quarter. So I was this type of student and I didn’t have many friends, in fact.

00;03;19;06 – 00;03;42;28
Diana Robertson
Well, I was lucky to have one very good friend, but in general, that’s all. But it did not bother me until my family started to move about. And that meant changing schools. And when that started to happen, I got to meet all those new children in new schools. And a lot of the schools I went to were much larger than my previous ones.

00;03;42;28 – 00;04;14;13
Diana Robertson
So we’re talking really loud environments. Also, it would be that all the countries saw a different mindset as well, and here I am realizing that I don’t know how to make friends. I never needed to. And we’re talking year nine at this point. So nine? No, so a year ten at this point. And what happened is that I remember the first school I moved into for half a year.

00;04;14;24 – 00;04;42;07
Diana Robertson
I didn’t have anybody. I was crying during the breaks because I felt so lonely. And the only reason is because, well, I didn’t know what to do about this. I was waiting for somebody to approach me, to ask me, let’s say if I wanted to be their friend or I want to hang out with them. So that’s how my childhood looked like later.

00;04;42;07 – 00;05;07;22
Diana Robertson
Were I? I face the same problem when I went to university and I started looking for internships and I was a super good student. I was very studious, very hard-working. I really wanted to succeed in my life. So I went to a good university and everything. I go through all the stages of application for those for those internships.

00;05;08;00 – 00;05;31;24
Diana Robertson
But then there would always be this last stage. But you have to meet them. There is no way around this. You have to meet them and you have to make that positive first impression. And every single time I would get to the stage at this interview stage, normally with their meter and the head of that team, everything would go wrong.

00;05;31;24 – 00;05;52;13
Diana Robertson
My hands would start to shake, my face would go red. They’ll ask me, So why should we hire you and all? I would be thinking about is seeing my show. Like I see my CV right in front of them. And all I think it about is like, Oh, come on. Everything about me isn’t that isn’t that senior charisma?

00;05;52;19 – 00;06;21;08
Diana Robertson
That’s why you should hire me. Why did why are you making me say this? And just like that, I didn’t get well, I didn’t get the internship, so I want this at all. And this suit almost holds me. And, yeah, I mean, it affected me pretty badly because, I mean, I really cared about my success, but then if I can’t even find a job, I mean, what’s the point of all my studying?

00;06;21;08 – 00;06;48;10
Diana Robertson
Right. And later I said to myself, okay, well, maybe there is something I could do about it. Maybe I should do something about it. And I started to look for various ways how it could improve. But the thing is, you need to understand here, David, that at this point I was certain that this is just a part of who I am.

00;06;48;10 – 00;07;17;07
Diana Robertson
I was born this way. I know some children at school or at university who were outgoing and fun, and I know I have never been like them and I will never be like them. I mean, I wasn’t like that. I don’t have those social skills. So when even when I started to look for various things that could help me, I still had the mindset that, well, I can’t really change.

00;07;17;07 – 00;07;45;13
Diana Robertson
I mean, how will I, you know, just suddenly transform it, become very talkative, you know, but later, having tried various things that I do mean various things because I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I tried public speaking, I tried improv, I tried drama, I tried debates and a lot, a lot more other things clubs and courses.

00;07;46;09 – 00;08;14;04
Diana Robertson
And having tried all that, eventually after a couple of years, I started to see that certain things started to change in me. Specifically, the way I presented myself and the way that I talked started to sound different. And at that point, when I got this realization, I was at the stage of my life where I no longer needed to look for jobs, trying to impress people.

00;08;14;04 – 00;08;45;11
Diana Robertson
You know, the other side of the table I was at that stage, I was already in a place where I was the one hiring people and that realization was quite extraordinary for two things. A Because I realized how important communication skills are and how many doors they open. If initially I wanted to just a job now. I mean, I’m a entrepreneur, but also it’s really helped with my personal relationships.

00;08;45;11 – 00;09;14;29
Diana Robertson
So for example, with my husband, I was the one, the one to ask him out on a date. On the first date, again for a girl who didn’t know how to make friends. I mean, that’s quite an achievement. And as I would say, the second big realization that I had is that actually we can change. And actually, no, we’re not born one way or the other like either, you know, shy.

00;09;14;29 – 00;09;43;25
Diana Robertson
And I’m confident and talkative. Outgoing, fun and so. So no, actually, you can build those things specifically. You can build communication skills and and yeah, and that makes those absolute wonders. Now, I’m not saying that you are changing from being an intern to an extrovert. We can talk about that later. But I’m not saying that. But I am saying that one can build certain skills to become more adjusted to life and become more successful.

00;09;44;14 – 00;10;23;29
Diana Robertson
And once I realized that, I thought, okay, good for me, I’m sorts it, but what about the rest? What about all those people who have the same mindset like I did where okay, I’m just I’m lucky I’m born this way. There is nothing I could do about it. And that was the reason why I established the company I own now, which is the skills me Academy, where we help people develop the communication skills through a certain methodology that I can share with you later for if in case anybody if your listeners want to develop communication skills too.

00;10;25;01 – 00;10;52;20
David Hall
Yeah, well, thank you for that story. And I know that so many introverts out there are relating to exactly what you said, that they felt like something was wrong, they didn’t have the communication skills. But you also brought up a really good point. It’s you can change so much. And I will always say you’re not going to change being an introvert because introversion is a beautiful thing or deep thinkers or deep feelers and and that’s a great thing.

00;10;52;26 – 00;11;10;22
David Hall
But you have to learn to work with that. You have to learn how to improve your communication skills and use your great strengths as an introvert. And so that can be amazing. So when did you when did you start figuring out that you were an introvert? And how did you embrace that?

00;11;10;22 – 00;11;34;06
Diana Robertson
All those experiences that I shared with you, David, I mean, this was part of being an introvert. But I think that the moment where it became clear to me, like, there is nothing wrong with me and this is just, you know, being an introvert at all. This behavior associated with it was when I read Susan Cain’s book, which for me was, you know, an eye opener.

00;11;34;16 – 00;12;00;27
Diana Robertson
Finally, I realized that actually there was nothing wrong with me and it’s just a part of who I am. And this made me think about it in a different way rather than changing myself, like changing as a result of changing that changing work rather than fixing myself, I started to embrace who I am and build on well. Just incorporate the things that I learned about introverts, just like you mentioned.

00;12;00;27 – 00;12;29;01
Diana Robertson
So for example, things like, okay, I’m a public speaker, I do this too because wait, I learned to enjoy public speaking. Yes, but but also because I need to spread the word about my brand and because, well, I teach as well. So it’s part of my job today. But I get super exhausted. I get super, super tired from doing that.

00;12;30;10 – 00;12;51;15
Diana Robertson
And initially I saw that more like a weakness. Right now I see that more as a part of who I am and I just work around that. I make sure that after a speaking opportunity and this is included as a speaking opportunity, I make sure that I have some rest time. I try not to have two events at the same time.

00;12;51;15 – 00;13;20;20
Diana Robertson
So it’s like it’s things that you learn about yourself and start to work around that same thing with calls, I make sure that I have this totally free of cool just because I get so tired. I mean, I was I was joking with my friend earlier that if I take a call and the call is one hour, it actually takes 3 hours of my time because one hour for talking to our friends thing after that where I can’t really do anything productive.

00;13;21;05 – 00;13;29;11
Diana Robertson
So yeah, I think the biggest realization was after after that book, it made me embrace my introversion and think about it differently.

00;13;30;03 – 00;13;53;11
David Hall
Yes, that book was important to me. To Susan Cain’s quiet, many guests have shared the same thing. So we owe a lot to Susan Cain for bringing awareness that, just like you said, there is nothing wrong with you. So if anybody’s listening that still is having that struggle, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re in the right place. You know, we can talk about how you can understand your introverted gifts and become amazing.

00;13;53;11 – 00;14;16;24
David Hall
And it’s funny. This show is about strikes and also needs and some strategies for success. And you just talked about some needs. Like I’ve been looking forward to speaking with you for a while now, Diana, but guess what? Like an hour before this, I kind of went into preparation mode where I wasn’t doing anything else. I was just thinking about, you know, just kind of relaxing, thinking about the things that we were going to talk about.

00;14;17;11 – 00;14;36;12
David Hall
And then afterward, I’m going to take a break and I’m not going to be jump right into the next thing. And I use my calendar that way once I guess books, I’m going to then walk off that next hour or so. And it’s just you learn what those needs are. There’s nothing strange about it. It’s just, what do I need and how am I going to be successful?

00;14;37;03 – 00;14;39;10
Diana Robertson
Absolutely. I’m totally with you. Yeah.

00;14;40;18 – 00;14;55;08
David Hall
So there are many introverts out there that are just have always been confident. So, you know, it’s not a struggle for everybody, but for some of us it is it is a struggle where we’re not we don’t start out confident. How do you see that introverts can gain confidence?

00;14;56;25 – 00;15;44;00
Diana Robertson
Confidence. So think of confidence and building confidence as or playing a game. And I give you a game that you’ve never played in your life before. And in the beginning it looks very confusing. But then you start playing and by the end of level one, you realize that actually it’s not so bad. Then you go to level two, it becomes harder, a little bit harder, but you’re still managing and you’re learning along the way and you’re managing those challenges then level three, level four, etc. And just like that, you’re building your skill and also the confidence to play that game compared to if I gave you the game and gave you a level ten straight

00;15;44;00 – 00;15;46;00
Diana Robertson
away, does that make sense?

00;15;46;08 – 00;15;47;03
David Hall
Yes, absolutely.

00;15;47;19 – 00;16;16;01
Diana Robertson
Yeah. So and with confidence, it’s the same thing you want to expose yourself to something that you want to learn, something you are not confident about, but you want to expose yourself in small doses so that by the end of level one, you can see, Oh, I’ve done that, okay, I didn’t die. Like, for example, if it’s a public speaking opportunity, let’s not start with 200 people.

00;16;16;01 – 00;16;36;28
Diana Robertson
Let’s start with two people, maybe two people who are your friends who are not going to say anything. But then there’s level two. Let’s, let’s keep it to people, but let’s say let’s make them colleagues. And then just like that, you increase the difficulty slowly. But every time you look back and you say, Oh, I didn’t die here, nothing happened.

00;16;37;10 – 00;17;06;28
Diana Robertson
Nothing bad happened here. I can do it. I could do it last time. I could do it this time. Now I have a case to share with you. It’s one of my students and he came to me well, when normally asked. So. So what’s your story? What do you want to learn now? And he told me that he used to be a one on one tutor and he loved the job.

00;17;06;28 – 00;17;39;09
Diana Robertson
He was great. And he was also good at speaking in public. But now he doesn’t have any confidence to do that at all. And he wants to learn, relearned that, learn that again, and get the confidence back. I’m like, Hold on, but how is that possible? What happened to you? He was like, Well, you see, after the one on one tuition, we what I did is I was given a job at a school to teach a group of students.

00;17;39;19 – 00;18;01;21
Diana Robertson
And the thing is, it wasn’t they weren’t normal students. They were challenging teenagers. And it was very hard for me. It was extremely hard for me. In fact, I didn’t manage to control the class at all. And at the end I was fired. And after that incident, I have lost all my confidence for public speaking. And now I can’t speak in public at all.

00;18;02;20 – 00;18;26;15
Diana Robertson
So if we take his example, what happened there is that he wasn’t this level one, one, one tutoring, and then suddenly he jumped to level ten. I mean, imagine teaching challenging teenagers. I mean, it’s super hard. And so he didn’t manage that. And because of that, he didn’t just go back to level one. He went several steps before that.

00;18;26;15 – 00;18;46;27
Diana Robertson
So we’re talking before level one because his confidence really dropped. So I would say the key to building confidence is to expose yourself to that thing that you fear, but then small doses and then seeing the good like recognizing your good achievements after each level, after each difficulty.

00;18;47;26 – 00;19;06;18
David Hall
Yeah, definitely. And part of that that you brought out is you have to check your thoughts. You know, I was like, hey, that wasn’t so bad. You know, you have to change your thoughts because often when we approach what we think are scary situations and that’s part of it, but if you don’t change your thoughts, then the next time it’s going to be scary too.

00;19;06;18 – 00;19;13;21
David Hall
But if you change your thoughts and say, Hey, you know what? That wasn’t so bad, or I did good on that or or that kind of thing, that that makes all the difference.

00;19;14;14 – 00;19;40;28
Diana Robertson
Absolutely. And another thing is, it’s absolutely fine that it’s scary. So, for example, like for me, even with this, both cats like I had, okay, they would send me the questions. But even so, like, you know, you can prepare for one thing and then they’ll say that, I mean, I always have some sort of fear and and I speak in front of the public almost every single day, and I still feel nervous before speaking in front of people.

00;19;40;29 – 00;20;05;12
Diana Robertson
I still do that. And it’s okay. It’s normal, but it’s good type of nervousness. It’s not scary panicky. So it’s okay to be a bit scared and it’s absolutely normal to be scared if you’re doing something new, it’s part of it. You’re supposed to be. But it’s just the question is just still getting that confidence slowly so that it doesn’t feel too scary or too freaky.

00;20;05;12 – 00;20;06;05
Diana Robertson
That makes sense.

00;20;06;26 – 00;20;23;14
David Hall
Oh, yeah. Because I mean, if it’s too scary, then we might not be having this great conversation, right? Absolutely. So, yeah, you can still get nervous. I don’t get very nervous anymore about many things, but part of that is just that I do the preparation I feel like I need to do is an introvert.

00;20;23;14 – 00;20;41;10
Diana Robertson
So that’s another great point, by the way, just that we intimacy need more more preparation and that’s fine. That’s normal. It doesn’t mean that the person who can speak, speak on the spot, that’s the smart person and you’re the dumb person because you need to prepare. And no, not at all. It’s just how our brains work.

00;20;41;28 – 00;20;53;11
David Hall
I will also just say with our preparation, we can come up with some brilliant things, so don’t discount it. Is there a strength that you feel like you have because you’re an introvert?

00;20;54;11 – 00;21;21;15
Diana Robertson
Yes, multiple. But I would say one of them is introversion is very often associated with deep focus. And by the way, just a disclaimer. Everything I would be saying today about introversion, I mean, it’s we’re all like a different spectrum. So it might not apply 200% of the people. Right. You would apply to a good portion of interest, let’s say.

00;21;21;16 – 00;21;56;07
Diana Robertson
Absolutely. So introversion associated with better focus, whereas extroversion is associated with multitasking. And I feel that the ability to focus and focus very well is my absolute power, especially when I compare myself to my sister, who is a real extrovert and my good guess she’ll always seeking an opportunity to get distracted, just not to do the one thing if, for example, for a long period of time, but at the same time it’s her enemy.

00;21;56;07 – 00;22;04;03
Diana Robertson
Enemy, because. Well, I can I can get the work done much, much better. No, I mean, she’s amazing at her work, don’t get me wrong. But of course.

00;22;05;02 – 00;22;22;29
David Hall
Yes, yes, exactly. And we all have our different gifts. And like you said, you could identify many strengths and that’s amazing. But at the same time, no introvert is exactly like as we’re getting to know each other, you know, there’s probably a lot of things we have in common. But as we get to know each other more, it’s probably some things where we differ.

00;22;22;29 – 00;22;36;27
David Hall
And that’s fine because personalities are multifaceted. It’s just not introversion extroversion. But why I have the shows because I think there is a very significant part of being an introvert. And then one more thing on introversion. Is there a myth that you want to bust today?

00;22;37;20 – 00;23;11;09
Diana Robertson
A myth? Well, I think I’ll talk about the myth in my industry, which is the fact that an introvert will love the fact what people say that they imagine introverts to be those socially awkward, shy people. And the thing is, it’s absolutely not true. It’s not part of being an intimate. Some introverts are socially awkward and shy, but this this does not mean this you are an end to it at all.

00;23;11;09 – 00;23;37;05
Diana Robertson
In fact, there are extra kids who can be socially awkward and shy. In fact, socially social awkwardness and shyness are two things that are separate from this whole personality spectrum. So shyness is is to do with confidence and confidence. We just talked with you about that, how to build it and both introverts and extroverts can like confidence. It’s absolutely normal.

00;23;37;27 – 00;23;58;21
Diana Robertson
Doesn’t make you an interviewer, an extrovert. No. It just makes you a person with a high self-esteem or a low self esteem. And most importantly, you can work on that. So that’s not nothing to do with introversion and equally social awkwardness or inability to communicate. Well, again, I mean, I say it all the time. You learn communication skills.

00;23;59;00 – 00;24;18;07
Diana Robertson
Yes. Some people were lucky at the word with them, but okay, good for them. But if you feel that you need to learn them, you can. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re an intuitive extrovert. That’s it. So I would say this is the biggest myth that I have to face all the time. The interviews are socially awkward inside.

00;24;18;08 – 00;24;21;22
Diana Robertson
People know they’re not.

00;24;21;22 – 00;24;45;21
David Hall
Yeah. And so definitely introverts are extroverts, as you well put, can be shy or socially awkward. And the great thing is, is that those things can be overcome. You know, you can learn to be confident. And a lot of what I’ll say on this show is part of it. I know for me and many people I’ve talked to, part of it is understanding your introversion, like we’ve been talking about your strengths and needs.

00;24;45;21 – 00;25;03;08
David Hall
If you can understand those things, those can really give you confidence and that, you know, if you need a little break after giving a speech, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re extroverted. Friend might not need that same break. And you could look at it like, Oh, that’s something weird. No, it’s just something I need. So that’s a big myth.

00;25;03;08 – 00;25;16;24
David Hall
And that’s one that we definitely take on a lot is, you know, as part of your expertise as introverts can be amazing public speakers and sometimes people think that we can and that’s ridiculous because introverts can be amazing. Public speakers.

00;25;17;19 – 00;25;25;26
Diana Robertson
Absolutely. I would say two intersections. So I went to it’s thing that they can’t telling you you can you absolutely cannot you just need to learn this stuff.

00;25;25;26 – 00;25;35;29
David Hall
So yeah. So let’s talk about that. How do introverts that don’t have confidence in public speaking, how do they get better at it? How do they prepare for a presentation or a speech?

00;25;37;25 – 00;26;04;18
Diana Robertson
Sure. So the things that we deal with at home a lot at work. So it’s confidence building and skill building. Now, confidence were already discussed. So you expose yourself to something scary, but in small amounts you get some positive feedback. You, you reflect on yourself, make sure that you’ve got this, you know, you know, you build your self-esteem that just like that, your confidence goes now.

00;26;04;18 – 00;26;30;28
Diana Robertson
But sometimes confidence is not enough. Sometimes you’re lacking the skill, the actual skill of if we’re talking about public speaking, then, you know, engaging the audience, making sure they’re listening to you. I don’t know the skill of storytelling, by the way, another fun fact. People think that some people are just good storytellers, just like that, just, you know, born that way.

00;26;30;28 – 00;26;51;15
Diana Robertson
And that’s said. And then there is everybody else not true. So, yes, some of them might have been born with a skill, but a lot of people need to learn the skill, especially if they are public speakers. The chances are they have actually learned how to tell good stories. Same thing applies to politicians or any public figures. Hotel interesting stories.

00;26;51;23 – 00;27;01;22
Diana Robertson
It’s it’s literally a skill that you can learn. There are certain rules that you follow, the storytelling and your stories become interesting. So let’s say you.

00;27;01;23 – 00;27;12;23
David Hall
Say let’s talk about let’s let’s stop right there. Let’s talk about storytelling because that’s so important to all this. And that’s a big part of the work you do. So if I don’t feel like I’m a good storyteller, how do I learn to be a better storyteller?

00;27;14;10 – 00;27;24;08
Diana Robertson
Sure. But right now then we have two questions open how to build communication skills and how to tell good stories. Would you mind if I answer them? Just one after that?

00;27;24;18 – 00;27;25;25
David Hall
Whichever order is great.

00;27;26;19 – 00;27;38;27
Diana Robertson
Right? Well, if you don’t mind, I’ll answer first how to build communication skills in general. That includes storytelling. And then we can discuss how anybody could tell could make their stories more interesting. How’s that?

00;27;39;12 – 00;27;40;01
David Hall
Sounds great.

00;27;40;20 – 00;28;13;01
Diana Robertson
All right, let’s do that. So if we’re talking about building your communication skills, whatever skill that you have chosen, let’s say storytelling, public speaking, I don’t know, small talk, persuasion, seals, anything. The key here is understanding that we have two types of memory in our brain. In fact, it’s more than two types, 4 to 2 that would be relevant in this case.

00;28;13;22 – 00;28;52;05
Diana Robertson
One is amazing. It’s the conscious memory. It’s amazing at memorizing things. So, for example, if I gave if you would want to become a historian and I give you a book and history, that’s the part of the memory you would be you be using to become a better historian. However, there is a totally different part responsible for building your skills, and that’s called procedural memory and a lot of people, when they want to learn communication skills, they don’t realize that.

00;28;52;05 – 00;29;14;26
Diana Robertson
And because of that, the waste a lot a lot of their time, for example, I’ll give you a more relatable example so your daughter comes to you. They assume she doesn’t know how to ride a bike and she looks at you and she’s like, Daddy, wow, you’re you’re amazing bike rider. I would love to learn to do that and be as good as you are.

00;29;15;04 – 00;29;48;05
Diana Robertson
Please help me. And now, David, you have a choice. You can do one of the three things to teach her how to ride a bike. Option number one, you ask her to check out Amazon and read a book about riding a bike. That or you ask her to check out YouTube, watch some videos there or and see you go out with her, put her on a bike and we’ll see what happens, which option do you think will get her the result?

00;29;48;05 – 00;29;51;01
Diana Robertson
The fastest?

00;29;51;01 – 00;29;57;27
David Hall
Well, we did it a while back. It’s number three. Enjoying it? Yeah, we definitely been through that.

00;29;58;25 – 00;30;34;02
Diana Robertson
All right. Absolutely. Well, about that. And that is the correct question. Well done. And clearly, you know, it is the correct answer. Sorry, because she knows how to ride a bike. Now. Well, the thing is, when I talk about bikes, it seems to people very natural. Obviously, you go out there and you sit on the bike. But the thing is, when we talk about communication skills, for some reason people forget that the skill of learning a bike is also like it’s just like a skill.

00;30;34;13 – 00;30;58;18
Diana Robertson
It’s a skill. And public speaking is also a skill. And to learn a skill, you need to do it. And that’s back to that memory thing I mentioned. So there is the procedural memory and that is the memory responsible for anything to do with procedure. So for example, that’s the memory that you used when you were a child, when you learned how to walk.

00;30;58;28 – 00;31;20;06
Diana Robertson
That’s the memory used for learning how to ride a bike. That’s the memory you use when you need to. Well, you’re learning how to speak in public or networking or whatever. That and that memory is built in only one way. Only one way. No book. No book will help. No video will help. Only if you actually do the skill.

00;31;20;06 – 00;31;49;27
Diana Robertson
And people hate hearing that because that means that they need to actually do the work. But I’m super sorry, literally, that is the only way you can learn any communication skill. So you want to become a good, good at small talk. You have to go out to networking events and try to small talk again and again and again after six, seven, eight times depends all people are different.

00;31;50;08 – 00;32;20;10
Diana Robertson
You get the hang of it. Now, it doesn’t mean this you’re not allowed to read some books or or watch the videos you are. But you my suggestion it’s the follow 37 to rule spend maximum and I mean maximum 30% of your time dedicated for learning the skill on getting the information and minimum 70% on actually doing it and that would be the only way you will actually start seeing results.

00;32;20;10 – 00;32;43;02
Diana Robertson
Otherwise, loads of people go out there on Amazon. And by the way, about the bikes, last time I checked, there were no books about how to ride a bike. No, not at least not the normal scale if we’re not talking some specific mountainous biking and things like that. But there are thousands of books about how to learn to speak better.

00;32;43;29 – 00;32;48;23
Diana Robertson
And even even though the process behind it is exactly the same.

00;32;48;23 – 00;33;04;20
David Hall
You definitely have to do it. There are some things you can learn ahead of time, but like the point you’re making is you can’t just learn about it. You have to do it. But there’s definitely some things you can learn and prepare for, but you got to do it. And I always say to when you do it, just think, You know what?

00;33;04;23 – 00;33;08;16
David Hall
That was good, but what do I want to do next time you know, what do I want to do better next time?

00;33;09;03 – 00;33;37;09
Diana Robertson
Yeah, that that’s exactly the approach you want to have. You’re absolutely right, David. So, for example, let’s say we’re talking about networking. Yeah, you want to become better networking events. You start by going to an event you don’t care much about and you just start. Start initiating those conversations, start the small talk, start, start to try to make connections.

00;33;37;13 – 00;33;59;14
Diana Robertson
But in the event that you don’t care about and people you don’t care about, so even if everything goes wrong, who cares? They’re going to see you again and you’re not going to see that. Right? And then afterwards, you dedicate some painful self self-reflection and you think, okay, what are the things that I’ve done? Right? And it’s super important to highlight those because not everything is wrong.

00;33;59;15 – 00;34;24;02
Diana Robertson
Never. It’s never that everything is wrong. And I’ll say good point. Some of the things could have been better. So highlight those specifically, right? How you could improve them better next time and also highlight those that you did well. And why do you need to do you select the ones that went well a for your confidence and so you keep on doing them next time you’re on the next event.

00;34;24;10 – 00;34;43;10
Diana Robertson
So you look at your sheet, you’ll select the things that you keep on doing and you select one or two maximum things that you want to improve. You don’t try to improve things, so you select one or two things and improve that. Just work on that again. After that event. Analyze How did you do? Do you think this looks as, do you not?

00;34;43;22 – 00;35;04;22
Diana Robertson
And then give yourself the next challenge. Okay, next networking event. I want to be better. I don’t know with with my voice. I don’t know for example or I would a my memorize people’s names better. I don’t know whatever it is that you want. And just like that one step at a time, you’ll start seeing small but consistent improvements.

00;35;05;03 – 00;35;18;18
Diana Robertson
And eventually you will look back at where you started and realize, like, I’m the master of networking right now, and I didn’t know how to do it at all in the past. So that’s how it works.

00;35;18;18 – 00;35;35;14
David Hall
Yeah. Yeah. A superpower that we have that you mentioned is introverts are really good at reflection. So I had never thought about going to some low stakes event to practice. That’s a good tip to where the outcome doesn’t matter that much, where you could just practice your small talk or networking skills. That’s good idea.

00;35;36;24 – 00;35;55;14
Diana Robertson
Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, I hope that answers the question about the learning communication skills. Any do you have any questions about that? Before I go to the storytelling question, so let’s talk about storytelling. Okay, storytelling. So what’s the question about storytelling?

00;35;56;10 – 00;36;07;01
David Hall
How do we get better at it? If I’m feeling like I’m not a great storyteller, but I know it’s important, how can I improve that? All right. What makes it what makes a good story?

00;36;07;01 – 00;36;29;21
Diana Robertson
Yeah, that’s that the question to ask. So there are a lot of things that make good stories. And of course, I wouldn’t be able to share with you all of those in this episode. I have a great source of it. Yeah, but if I was to select one or two things, I would say A, the conflict and people a lot of people don’t realize that.

00;36;30;06 – 00;37;22;03
Diana Robertson
So when I say conflict, I don’t mean an argument. It could be an argument, but it’s bigger than that is how storytellers refer to this part of the story where something doesn’t go right. So you could call it a problem. Some sort of issue. So I’ll give you an example. They would think of think of a friend and your friend who came from after a really good holiday and this friend and is sharing with you how amazing their holiday was, how everything was perfect, and then showing your photo after photo, those beaches and cocktails and everything you look at that first minute, you feel okay, yeah, that’s cool, excited, cool pictures.

00;37;22;15 – 00;37;48;13
Diana Robertson
But then after that, the novelty just wears off. You’re like, Okay, well, I understood you had a good holiday, so I mean, there’s nothing really interesting about it. And then the person keeps on talking for five, ten, 15 minutes, and your mind is just wandering off thinking about other things, right? Well, the and then you have some other person to another, another friend who also came from a holiday.

00;37;48;25 – 00;38;16;18
Diana Robertson
But instead of showing you all those photos, how everything was amazing, the person says to you, Oh my God, you won’t believe on our first stay at the hotel. But the let’s say somebody has stolen my laptop and I still needed to do a lot of work, blah blah blah blah blah. And then the story to the person tells you how they started to look for locked up everywhere.

00;38;16;18 – 00;38;47;01
Diana Robertson
How they oh they, I don’t know, interviewed every single cleaner that was visiting their room. I mean, this is a silly example, but I’m sure you have heard stories where things didn’t go well, but because they didn’t go well, that allowed the speaker to tell you something that would really draw your attention and you’d want to really find out, okay, what was the result?

00;38;47;12 – 00;39;15;00
Diana Robertson
What was what’s the end of the story? Did they find the laptop? Did they not find the laptop? So one of the biggest secrets behind good storytelling is making sure that there is this problem with the story. It’s not flat and you want to center the whole story around that problem. So you want so the problem becomes problem in story almost like it’s an opportunity to tell a story.

00;39;15;18 – 00;39;39;11
Diana Robertson
Nothing interesting happening, nothing. I mean, everything going well. That’s not a basis for a good story, if that makes sense. The same thing works with Hollywood movies. If you watch them, you realize that there is no single movie where everything is just great. Always something is going wrong and that whole story is revolving about that. Some issue that happens in the movie that makes sense.

00;39;39;25 – 00;39;54;11
David Hall
Yeah, absolutely. So I know that storytelling is an important part of our presentations and public speeches, but overall, what does make a good and compelling presentation and public speech?

00;39;54;11 – 00;40;23;24
Diana Robertson
Well, I can share with you my personal opinion to people will argue this, but in my opinion, what’s really, really important in any type of presentation is first of all, the message that the person is trying to share well is sharing. I mean, a lot of people will and the tools that they’re using to deliver that message, for example, such as the tool of storytelling.

00;40;24;09 – 00;40;50;06
Diana Robertson
But for me as a person, I really enjoy good content and for me good content. Like, what’s the value the person is saying is much more important than the confident voice. These are good hand gestures, the way they stand on the stage. And don’t get me wrong, all of these things are important. But actually. But it’s only the fluff around it.

00;40;50;17 – 00;41;26;09
Diana Robertson
I mean, it’s something plus it’s it’s something anybody can learn. Yes. I mean, if you don’t have this, you can learn it. But what’s much harder to learn is to say something, what people want to hear. And in order to learn that there is this great exercise that’s I ask my students to do sometimes is when you’re on a stage, imagine this audience a sitting all with a sign still large size with the large letters on them saying, why should I care?

00;41;27;03 – 00;41;59;15
Diana Robertson
Why should I care? And if your entire presentation in your entire presentation, even before you started the presentation, when you were preparing, you were thinking about those people, who are they, what things they care about, what things would be interesting for them. And then you keep that in mind throughout your presentation. Even if your voice is not super confident, your your gestures are not brilliant, they will still be listening to you because there is some value for that, for them, specifically in what you say.

00;41;59;29 – 00;42;08;20
Diana Robertson
So for me, I would say that’s what makes a good speaker, the person who knows exactly what value to give to their audience.

00;42;08;20 – 00;42;14;22
David Hall
Yes, very good. So we’ve talked about a lot of great things. How do you help people with these things?

00;42;15;21 – 00;42;47;20
Diana Robertson
So schools, me, academy, we are virtual school for developing communication skills. And what we focus on is specifically the part the the part about learning and acquiring a skill rather than the knowledge. So remember I mentioned to you the only way you can learn in communication skill if you actually do it well, what we do is we provide this environment, so we do it via zoom normally where every single person who comes to us gets the opportunity to actually perform the skill.

00;42;47;20 – 00;43;13;23
Diana Robertson
So for example, if they’re learning storytelling, what they do in a practice session, every single person gets to tell two stories is just is just the standard thing. And then you come to those classes for several weeks and you realize that, oh, suddenly you are much better at telling good stories. So that’s what we focus on. We give some obviously we give some content for people to learn in their own times, then to analyze like videos.

00;43;14;00 – 00;43;21;21
Diana Robertson
But then the, the, all the learning actually happens when the person gets to do the story and gets the feedback on how to improve it. That’s what we do.

00;43;22;15 – 00;43;27;25
David Hall
Very cool. So if people want to learn more about you and the work you do, what’s the best way to find out.

00;43;29;17 – 00;43;56;10
Diana Robertson
The best way? Well, it depends what you want. So if you’re considering courses for yourself, so you want to become a better communicator. We teach right now. We have storytelling. We have impromptu speaking, a launch and a couple of other things as well. So the best way to do would be to write skills me dot co dot uk so skills ni echo dot UK and select one of our courses.

00;43;56;10 – 00;44;28;18
Diana Robertson
Also there you’ll find a lot of free workshops that you can also join just to learn about various communication skills and about confidence. But if you want to reach out to me directly, the best way would be to find me on LinkedIn. If you’re right, Diana Robertson skills me so Diana Robertson skills me and connect to me don’t fall actually connect and write to me how you found me I will connect with you and then I will answer any question you might have for me in the direct message.

00;44;28;20 – 00;44;30;17
Diana Robertson
That will be the best way to connect with me personally.

00;44;30;29 – 00;44;33;02
David Hall
Very good. And I will put all that in the show notes.

00;44;34;05 – 00;44;35;22
Diana Robertson
Perfect. Thank you so much, David.

00;44;36;02 – 00;44;40;11
David Hall
Yeah, thank you, Diana. This has been a wonderful conversation. I really appreciate you coming on the show today.

00;44;41;15 – 00;44;45;07
Diana Robertson
Likewise. Thank you so much for inviting me.

00;44;45;07 – 00;45;05;21
David Hall
Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out to David at quietandstrong.com or check out the quiet and strong dot com website, which includes blog posts, links to social media and other items. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better.

00;45;05;21 – 00;45;28;10
David Hall
There’s now a free type finder personality assessment on the quiet and strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report, including the four-letter Myers-Briggs code. All add a link to the show notes. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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