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> How to Reduce Speech Anxiety

Being a powerful communicator has a tremendous transfer value to
everything we do. As a presentation coach for 20 years, I have
witnessed transformations going far beyond improved presentation
skills, including increased self-esteem, greater self-confidence and an
increased desire to tackle other challenges. I have felt the debilitating
fear of public speaking, and I also know what it is like to bask in the
applause. Here are seven proven tip to help you control your
presentation jitters and make those annoying butterflies fly in formation:

Tip #1: It's good to be nervous.
Every speaker I know gets nervous before speaking. Being nervous
means you care about giving a good presentation. Your nervousness
produces adrenaline which helps you think faster, speak more fluently,
and add the needed enthusiasm to convey your message.

Tip #2: Don't try to be perfect.
The fear of public speaking often stems from a fear of imperfection.
Accept the fact that no one ever gets it perfect and neither will you.
You do not have to become Super Speaker, never saying "er" or "uh,"
and never losing your train of thought. Be yourself—your audience will
appreciate it.

Tip #3: Know your subject.
You must "earn the right" to talk about your subject. Become an
authority on your topic and know more than most or all of the people in
your audience. The more you know, the more confident you will be.

Tip #4. Involve your audience.
Ask listeners questions or have them participate in an activity. Keeping
your audience actively involved will hold their attention, increase their
retention, and reduce your nervousness as your presentation becomes
more of a dialogue than a monologue.

Tip #5: Breathe.
Before and even during your presentation, take a few deep breaths. As
you inhale, say to yourself, "I am" and as you exhale, "relaxed." Just
before your presentation, leave the meeting room and go for a walk.
Take some deep breaths and give yourself a pep talk.

Tip #6. Focus on your audience and your message.
What you have to say is important! Your audience needs to hear your
message. Focus on that, rather than on your nervousness. You can do
this!

Tip #7: Practice out loud.
Question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Answer: Practice! The best way to reduce your anxiety is to rehearse
until you feel comfortable. Practicing by yourself is important, but I urge
you to also practice in front of a friend, colleague or coach who will give
you honest and constructive feedback.

> Reprint Permission
Reprint permission granted in part or whole when the following credit appears: Reprinted with permission from Simply Speaking, Inc.®
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© David Greenberg's Simply Speaking, Inc.® All rights reserved.

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