Edelman’s Judy John on being an introvert, getting caught blaring Kanye West—and why extroverts are overrated
In this episode of the “Ad Block” podcast, John talks about making it in advertising as a shy, socially awkward person who hates small talk and public speaking. “I’m a creative, and I’m supposed to be presenting ideas,” she says. “And the first few times I was in a board meeting I thought, ‘Why is this my career? Where I put myself in harm’s way every day and I have to present in front of people in high stakes?’”
It was obvious from a young age that she didn’t like too much attention. During a speech in third grade, she fainted. It happened again in fourth grade, too. Now, she says, “I speak in front of people all the time. It’s hard. It’s hard every time. I used to think that it was easy for some people, but everyone says it’s hard.”
In fact, she suspects there are many more introverts in the industry than it seems at first. “You assume that everyone is an extrovert because everyone is always presenting, and they’re always out there,” she says. That feeling of being the only one kept her silent for many years. “I’ve recently just started to talk about it and own my awkwardness.”
John also weighs in on her favorite (American) football team, her love of Kanye West and what she would eat for her last meal.