The competitive world of business can be a daunting place for introverts. When success seems to hinge on the people you know and the impression you make, those of us with a shyer temperament can easily feel overwhelmed. But, no matter what your personality type – you can gain a competitive edge with the right tips and tricks up your sleeve.

For introverts in particular, it is important to think strategically about communication and connection. By using key methods, including the art of presentation, you can guarantee a competitive edge that brings out the best in you.

Here are two key attitudes to think about as introverts wanting to grow in confidence and business success:

  1. Presentations are your friend

    Presentations may feel like the worst form of public humiliation – but introverts in particular should learn to love them. Why? Because presentations are a controlled environment that encourage preparation. They give you a voice in a noisy world. Often, we introverts look at our extroverted colleagues and wish we had a touch of their confidence. Presentations can be a platform that allow you to find this confidence.

    Unlike so many other social situations, as the presenter, you are in control of the room. You have time to prepare what you will say and you get to direct the conversation. You can structure this conversation however you like. In comparison to our everyday interactions, there is actually a lot less social risk-taking in presenting. Learn to love presentations and use them as a venue for giving your opinion, with time to think carefully about how you want to express it.

  2. Be yourself – it’s a shortcut to confidence

    There’s a fine line to walk between ‘fake it till you make it’ and ‘be yourself’. The truth is, you need both approaches to gain a competitive edge in business. As an introvert, sometimes confidence takes a little work. But it’s good to remember that embracing who you are is the best way to gain real confidence. Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates all have two things in common.

    The first is confidence, and the second is that they are all thought of as introverts. There is nothing wrong with your personality – and embracing that fact could be the key to confidence. This means you should expect to be nervous, and not ashamed of that or worried about it. Even some of the most confident CEOs get nervous.

    If the thought of standing in front of a crowd or walking into a packed room fills you with fear, you might be an introvert. Never fear, you can still succeed in business. Embrace who you are and learn to use your personality for good. Presentations, while they may seem scary at first, can actually be a great tool for gaining confidence.

    Being yourself is the most important skill you will learn – after all, no-one thinks Bill Gates is any less successful just because he is an introvert. In fact, your unique personality is essential to gaining a competitive edge in business.