In a world that won’t stop talking, introversion and shyness are largely viewed as character flaws. As children, we are encouraged to step into the spotlight. As adults, those who are confident and self-assured are often viewed as most capable. From being a good listener, a considerate speaker and a thoughtful observer, why do we still overlook the benefits of being quiet? Do different cultural attitudes around the world shape preconceptions about personality types, and can we challenge the extrovert ideal to ensure that quieter skills are nurtured? Julia Wheeler is joined on stage by journalist and author Annie Ridout (Shy) and digitally from the US, psychologist Laurie Helgoe (Introvert Power), for a transatlantic exploration of quietness. Whether you see these qualities in yourself or want to help someone else flourish, they embrace shyness and introversion in all forms, showing how these characteristics should be seen as a pathway, rather than a barrier to success.

Books available to accompany this event

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from our Waterstones Cheltenham Literature Festival bookshop.

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Shy Introvert Power


Cheltenham Town Hall, Pillar Room

The Town Hall, situated on Imperial Gardens in the centre of Cheltenham comprises of a Grand Main Hall, distinguished by its Corinthian styles columns and coved ceiling. The Main Hall is accompanied by dining and drawing rooms, as well as the Pillar Room bar.

The venue’s early 20th century Edwardian elegance makes it the classic ‘shoebox’ concert hall. With a seating capacity of 900, the Town Hall is perfectly suited to grand symphony orchestra performances with a thrilling impact.


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