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Cn feb12-92


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Article about Richard Tierney in Conference News

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Cn feb12-92

  1. 1. THE CONSULTANTWay of the introvertOur ever-willing extrovert Richard John spares a thought for the introverted presenter and points any suchtypes in way of another Richard who says presenting coaching books are mostly aimed at the wrong targets the London Business School, which led to the development of his creative coaching company. It equates to a staggering 30 years of coaching presenters from over 60 of the Fortune 100 companies. He has worked in more than 30 countries, and has coached everywhere from an Indonesian deserted Island to Buckingham Palace. Introverted Presenter is also the title of his forthcoming book, and he explainsThe presentation why he feels the world needed another book on presenting.coaching and “Here’s the scenario. An accomplished presenter – let’s call him Roy – gives amessage planning great presentation at the company’s annual conference. Mary, a salesperson inservices out the audience, admires his stage presence and wants to emulate him. She searchesthere are aimed online and, guess what?, Roy has written a ‘How to’ book sharing his personal secretsat the wrong and tips for presenting. So Mary buys it. Late into the night she studies Roy’spersonality type secrets, and put all he says into practice, and guess what? It does not work.Richard John The reason is very simple: Roy is an extrovert. From an early age Roy has been the star of the show, he’s alwaysIf you’re putting on a conference, there’s a the one who volunteers to be in thegood chance that you’ll have thought that nativity play, speech day, Universitysome of your line up of speakers could do debating society, and companywith some help. But have you ever meeting. That’s why he’s a presenterwondered why ‘presentation skills’ and speaker – he was born to do it. Notraining may not make a difference? My matter how often Mary reads the book,mate Richard Tierney, is an industry she’s missing a vital part. Mary is anveteran who has recently launched a introvert and yet will still dread gettingconsultancy called the Introverted up to speak no matter how many booksPresenter, and reckons he has the answer. written by extroverts like Roy she reads.” His credentials are impressive. He Richard’s view is that most professionalstarted as a theatre techie, rose to presenters are great on stage becausebecome an event producer, then retrained they are extroverts. They love theat the Royal College of Art in television spotlight. However, here’s a surprise;production, worked as a video and TV the majority of clients, presenters andproducer for a decade and then studied at meeting planners, are introverts. February 2012 • • 91
  2. 2. THE CONSULTANT It’s about leading the reader through the terror to a place of comfort and acceptance Richard John So the presentation coaching and that: “We introverts are known to have For some reason Mr Tierney believes message planning services out there are slightly higher IQs than you lot”. Still, that your beloved columnist is an aimed at the wrong personality type. other researchers have pointed out that extrovert, just because it takes a stick with more extroverted people tend to report a hook at the end to get me off the stage. Cod psychology higher levels of happiness than introverts. But he points out that the majority of Now, here’s a spoonful of cod-psychology; people find such a situation totally alien. the terms ‘introversion’ and ‘extroversion’ Extrovert/introvert “This started out as a presentation were first popularised by Carl Jung, and Jung stated that introverts acknowledge coaching service, and with some clients many of the popular ‘personality profiling’ more readily their psychological needs and that’s where it stops,” says Tierney. “But questionnaires make use of the concept, problems, whereas extroverts tend to be with others I go into deeper questions including those by Eysenck’s, the Cattell’s oblivious to them because they focus more about their business and the messages 16 personality factors, the Minnesota on the outer world. However, extroversion they wish to get across. Introverts don’t Multiphasic Personality Inventory or the is socially preferable in Western culture think about this, they just want to keep Myers Briggs Type Indicator. Jung and the and can make introverts feel more their heads down and get on with their gang suggest that everyone has both an self-conscious. Other studies have found lives. And because I’m an introvert I can extroverted and an introverted side, with that extroverts tend to report higher levels relate to that.” one being more dominant than the other. of self-esteem than introverts. After three decades in the events Typically, extroverts are seen to be So far, so good; it’s obvious an industry Tierney describes his new role as gregarious, assertive, and interested in extroverted trainer may struggle to “the most rewarding work I have ever seeking out external stimulus. Introverts, change the performance of an introverted done. It can be transformational. Using all in contrast, are seen as introspective, quiet delegate. Richard’s success stems from my experience in the events business yet and less sociable. And of course, these are the fact that he is a classical introvert, not being a vendor is a great liberation for behaviours that are highly visible on stage. and his starting point is to use some of me. Seeing my client’s actually enjoying Richard also points out that the popular questionnaires to identify the standing up and speaking, with their introversion/extroversion is measured in degree of introversion within his clients. audience having clarity, is a great joy. But terms of a scale or spectrum, and around As he explains: “It’s about leading the you extroverts probably don’t understand seven out of ten people fall in the middle reader through the terror to a place of what all the fuss is about.” ranges, known as ‘ambiversion’. That comfort and acceptance. Mary will never means only around 15 per cent of the be a stand-up comedienne, but she can population at either end can be come to present carefully prepared Richard John is an events industry trainer considered genuinely introverted or material her audience will connect with, and consultant. He can be contacted extroverted. He’s also keen to point out and she can enjoy doing it.” through the Editor.92 • • February 2012