Five Ways to Beat Stage Fright

1. Rehearse. Practice your presentation so many times that you could do well if a bomb went off.  I practiced the speech for my son’s Bar Mitzvah 35 times. I was nervous but I did fine.

2. Remember that it’s not about you. It’s about helping your audience. Most presenters are worried about what the audience thinks about them. But presenting is not about you. It’s about how you can help the people you’re speaking to with your ideas.  Whenever I’m really nervous I say to myself “Today, I’m going to do everything I can to help these people.” It helps me. 

3. Walk around the block. Flush out the adrenaline with exercise. Billy Crystal does push ups. 

4. Work the room.  Introduce yourself to as many people as possible and make small talk. “Where are you from?” “How long have you been with your company?” Say anything that will break down the barriers between yourself and the audience.

5. Practice some more.  Don’t even talk to me about your stage fright until you’ve gotten in the habit of practicing extensively.  Can you deliver the presentation with the television on?  If you can nail the presentation with the distraction of The Larry King Show, then you’ll nail it with the distraction of your nerves.

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