While the majority of those who stand to address an audience are nervous, there is a small percentage of people whose nervousness is debilitating. And, their first reaction is often to feel sick to their stomach. If the thought of public speaking makes you want to ‘bring up lunch,’ there are a few things you can do to make the job easier and give you a fighting chance.

    1. Ask yourself what you are afraid of? The answer is that you probably fear looking foolish. If it is any consolation, there have been times when Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and even (oh, yes!) Barack Obama have said something which made them look foolish. Rest assured that if something were to happen to you while speaking and you felt embarrassed, you are in good company!

    2. Know Your Material. Often those who are the most nervous are the ones who prepare the least for their speaking engagement because they think it is pointless or useless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Without practice – and that means lots and lots of practice – you stand a greater chance of realizing your fear. If athletes, performers, musicians, and singers must practice, how can the public speaker not practice?

    3. Make eye contact with your audience and acknowledge all who are in the room, not just those directly in front of you. Avoiding your audience by staring at something on the wall is not the answer. In fact, not acknowledging your audience will actually increase your nervousness. Target your smilers because they will bolster your confidence.

    4. Try breathing before you speak and while you are delivering your speech or presentation. You will be amazed at how much better you feel if you allow yourself to get oxygen. Truly amazing and truly so simple. Remember, without air, there is no voice.

    5. Believe in yourself. Approaching a lectern or stage, while at the same time telling yourself you cannot do it, is your first step to accomplishing that prediction. If you are seeking perfection, you will lose the battle. Instead, why not seek to do the best job that you can?

Everyone, including professional athletes, performers, singers, musicians, and public speakers are nervous before the game or the performance. If you think they are not, then you are mistaken. If you can accomplish the 5 steps listed above, then you will be able to take control of your nervousness and allow it to work for you and not against you.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, group and corporate training in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Nancy's Voice Training Website and watch as she describes the best means of controlling nervousness in any form of public speaking.

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