“In large groups, I completely shut down out of shyness/introversion.”
“Should I give up and come to the conclusion that this role isn’t for me?”
One of the hardest things about being a Product Manager who is introverted AND shy is when it comes to giving a presentation to a group. You love the job and find most aspects of it exciting and challenging and interesting.
First off, the fact that you’ve identified this as a problem AND one you want to work on is a phenomenal first step. Too often people chose the path of giving up or finding ways to get out of their responsibilities.
Second, knowing how to give a good presentation is a skill. Having some knowledge or ability in anything brings confidence. And what is confidence, more or less, it’s the belief in your ability to achieve things you have yet to achieve.
If you believe you can achieve something, the greater the likelihood that you will. What’s interesting about this that when you have little wins your confidence builds. The more recent the win, the stronger your confidence.
So, if you improve your presentation skills just by a hair, your confidence will grow.
If you improve your knowledge of a topic you’re presenting on, your confidence will grow.
When you have confidence, you’ll be less likely to feel anxious during a presentation. Focus on the knowledge that you have, not what you don’t have.
Everyone gets anxious
It helps to realize that most people have anxiety with public speaking. Even the most confident-appearing people. Knowing this should give you some ease.
Bill Hader gets this one right!
Use your superpower
Introverts tend to excel in one-on-one settings. They’re better listeners and are better at distilling what others are saying. This is a superpower. Use it when presenting. Think of the group as a single entity. Ignore all the personality types in the room. It’s just one person. We’re all more alike than we are different.
While public speaking and presenting to a group may not be the biggest part of Product Mangement, it is a requirement if you want to be successful.
The fact that you’re here taking action shows you’re on the right path.