Lots of people have encountered the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). In school or at a former job, they got handed a questionnaire with 93 repetitive items, were told to fill it out, and that was that. Or maybe somebody mumbled a few words to them afterwards about their type.
That’s a shame, because when the MBTI is used correctly, it’s a fount of informational delights that can help you be a better public speaker, and help me coach you more effectively.
Don’t believe me? Just ask my clients, who think I’m a genius because I’m able to share first-session insights like,
You lead by motivating others, right? So let’s make this passionate.
It’s OK if we add something personal. That won’t reduce your credibility.
Wade into the crowd and talk to people! That’ll relax you before you speak.
Find a quiet place and hide; don’t talk to anyone! That’ll relax you before you speak.
A Public Speaker’s Quick-and-Dirty Guide to the MBTI
Magic? Nothing like it!
Instead, knowing basic things about a client’s type and preferences allows me to “cut to the chase” and offer insights that are remarkably useful.
In the examples above, for instance, I knew that:
1. People with the Helper public speaking personality want to connect with others. They would rather inspire your compliance than give you a direct order —and they prefer to be coached in a values-driven way.
2. People with the Reliable public speaking personality lean heavily on facts. They’re often surprised to learn that adding a personal touch — for instance, by sharing their reaction to the facts — will help audience members absorb and retain the facts better.
3. Extravert communicators charge up and gain confidence by interacting with the outside world of people, places, and things.
4. But introvert communicators charge up and gain confidence when they’re able to go inside and commune with their private thoughts.
Public Speakers Come in 16 Different Flavors. What’s Yours?
Each one has different public speaking strengths and challenges, based on how you prefer to:
- Recharge your energy;
- Gather information;
- Make decisions; and
- Prioritize information-gathering vs. decision-making.
So whether you’re an INTJ or an ISFP, an ENFP or an ESTJ, knowing your type and what it means for you as a public speaker will help me coach you more effectively — and will help you learn faster, grow more steadily, and focus your energies where you’ll get the most gain.
See why I love this stuff?