Conquer stage fright with this strategy
Do you become nauseated or tremble at the thought of public speaking? You can overcome your fear with a little help from the editors of American Speaker who offer these suggestions for easing your anxiety:
- Speak more, not less. Experience is the best cure for performance anxiety. Your confidence will grow each time you speak publicly, so seek out opportunities that put you in front of groups, large and small. Examples: Volunteer to lead a section of the agenda at your next team meeting. Raise your hand and contribute to the discussion when you find yourself in the audience. Putting yourself out there in these kinds of situations will help prepare you for more formal speeches in the future.
- Give yourself a pep talk. Instead of dreading a presentation as a public performance, view each presentation as a conversation with friends. Remember: Your listeners want you to succeed; they joined the audience because they want to hear your message. Focus on sharing your knowledge and expertise—rather than putting on a show—and your fear will melt away.
- Take care of yourself. Allow time for adequate sleep the night before, eat healthy meals, and schedule time for a workout in the morning or evening before you present. Working out relieves stress and produces endorphins, so you’ll feel more relaxed and confident.
- Use your time wisely. In addition to your earlier preparations, spend a few minutes right before you go on stage practicing your speech aloud. This will help you warm up your speaking voice and reboot your confidence.
Every Person’s Guide to Public Speaking guides you through each step in the process, from creating the perfect presentation to overcoming challenges that might throw you off your game.
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