Stagefright?

Giving a speech or presentation is often scary, even if it is a vital and frequent part of our jobs.

What’s happening is that, because we get scared beforehand, we tend to misread our own body signals. When your heart is pounding, your stomach churning, you feel a bit sweaty and your breaths are short and shallow, this doesn’t mean you can’t cope with the situation. On the contrary your body is telling you: "Hey I'm ready!!!" It knows it’s about to go out there and ‘fight’. However, before you begin, remember to take some deep breaths to calm your mind down.

Don't be afraid to be afraid. Waiting to begin is the worst part, but once you have started then your adrenaline and enthusiasm will make you shine. Remember that everyone knows how hard public speaking is and their sympathy is with you.

Also, don’t try to be a perfect speaker (which increases the pressure), but be yourself and yet confident that you will be effective because you are prepared. Complete preparation is the ultimate fear blaster because, whatever questions people ask, you know you have the answers and resources you need to answer them effectively.

If you stumble when you’re giving the speech don't battle through the confusion! STOP, take a deep breath and then, if you're still lost, admit that you are lost. Saying "Does anybody know what I just said?" with a smile will probably make your audience laugh, help and love you!

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