In 2008, I spent four amazing days at Otto Kroeger Associates in Virginia, learning to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
What I learned was revelatory. I spent the entire time sitting at the edge of my chair, scribbling furiously, and bouncing up and down like a little kid who couldn’t ask her zillion questions fast enough.
I’ve now used the MBTI with hundreds of speaker coaching clients, and it’s helped deepen and focus my coaching in a truly rewarding and productive way.
What Is The MBTI, Anyway?
It’s called a “personality test,” which is sort of like calling a vintage, red T-bird convertible with white leather seats a “car.”
Based on the theories of Carl Jung, the MBTI lets people choose which of 16 personality types they most identify with.
That choice opens up a world of self-awareness, along with a massive body of knowledge about how other people who’ve chosen your same type experience work, study, play, spirituality, love, and most anything else you can think of.
How Do I Use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in Public Speaker Coaching?
Many of my clients come with big, fixed ideas about their public speaking flaws. They’re too shy, or they can’t focus their thinking, or they hate having to defend their viewpoint, or plan a speech in advance. Sometimes they get lost in the details (and lose their audience), or feel overwhelmed in a crowd, or they’re not good storytellers, or too colorful.
Whatever the issue, they’re so sure it’s their fault, and that they irreversibly suck at public speaking — but the MBTI tells us differently. It teaches that,
- You are likely to share public speaking issues with others who share your approach to the world; and
- Every weakness is also a potential strength.
Armed with this knowledge, and its specific applications, my speechwriting, public speaking, and job interview clients are able to put their struggles in context, focus on developing their strengths, and learn to enjoy public speaking much more quickly.
Otto Kroeger Associates’ tag line is: “Greater Self-Awareness. Better Self-Management.”
To that you can add, “More Effective Public Speaking.”