”Talkers rule the world.”
That was the advice of a wealthy partner and owner of an investment management firm after I told him that I was spending a thousand dollars saved during college to take a Dale Carnegie course.
I had been shy and introverted in high school, and less shy but introverted at university. A public speaking elective had helped to improve my participation in classes, but I still was more comfortable in small groups than at parties.
So taking the Dale Carnegie course was a big deal.
For twelve Tuesdays in a row during my early twenties, I screwed up my courage to speak in front of a group of thirty people. The hardest part was the nervous anticipation until it was my turn to give my speech. But gradually the nerves calmed down and I began to enjoy public speaking. By the end of the course I was recommended to take a job in sales by one of the instructors. (I finally got into sales over a decade later and thoroughly enjoyed it. But that’s a different story.)
Since then, I’ve become extremely comfortable at parties, providing presentations, and attending networking events.
But then social distancing, pandemics, masks, and cancellations of live events and meetups pretty much killed all those interactions for those not wanting to risk death or permanent lung damage.
Which got me thinking about the ramifications of this global cocooning. Without those events to attend to for the next year or so, will Zoom meetings and FaceTime calls be enough to meet our need for extroversion? Or will the introverts mastery of social isolation give them a decided advantage?
I don’t see the world becoming a society of mole people like in HG Wells’s The Time Machine, however, are people with the gift of the face to face going to lose their advantage?