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Nervous About Public Speaking? Try This.

Harvard Business Review – Leadership

Contrary to popular belief, confident public speaking isn’t about getting rid of your nerves. The secret is to reframe your anxiety as excitement. Here are four steps you can take before your next big speech or presentation. First, take a few minutes to center yourself. Pause and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Next, ask yourself, “Why is this speech, this topic, or this audience important to me?” Say the answer out loud. Then, visualize the entire presentation from start to finish … and be sure to imagine it going incredibly well! What’s the best-case scenario? What did you do right? How did you carry yourself? How did you communicate the information? Finally — and this is the easiest step — listen to a song that gives you a little boost. Pick one that brings a smile to your face and fills you with positive energy (no matter how corny). Practicing these rituals before every presentation will help you make use of your nervous energy instead of being thwarted by it.

This tip is adapted from “The Upside of Your Public Speaking Jitters,” by Allison Shapira

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