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Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

The most outstanding leader is not necessarily the one who does the most incredible, essential things. He is the one that gets the people to do the most important things. - Ronald Reagan

Below are tips on how to get better with the dangers of public speaking. They are not meant to take away the feeling of panic during your speech but will, in a way, help you manage the stress associated with the situation.

You do not have to follow all the recommendations listed below but choosing one or two or a combination of any of the ones you think will work best for you is one roadmap to making your speech as perfect as you want it to be.

Do not let the situation control you. Use that nerve to your advantage and walk confidently with your speech as your effective tool in managing others with your convincing remarks.

Take a Deep Breath, relax and focus on your breathing. This will ease your stressed muscles and help you concentrate on your speech.

Resist Intimidation Forget speaking in front of more intelligent people than you. A university study shows that often, more than 80% of your audience at a time does not have a complete background on your topic. This gives you a leading edge and puts you on a higher level of intellectual advantage.

Be Prepared – Nothing beats a well-prepared speech plan. Get enough practice and repeat it as times as you can.

Ward Off Physical Distractions Eliminate details that can cause confusion and distract you from your core business. Wear light clothing or something with which you are comfortable. Uncomfortable clothing and accessories that are irritating to the skin cause skin rashes.

Establish Eye Contact: Eye-to-eye contact with your audience is the best way to deliver an honest and convincing oral discourse. It allows your audience to keep their attention on you and concentrate on what you have to say.

Choose the Right Food at the Right Time. Eat at least 3 hours before your actual speech. Food takes long enough before you do your talk rewards your body up, and provides you with the necessary energy to continue the task of speaking.

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