To Beat Nerves, Try Passing the “Larry King” Test

Larry KingMany people ask me how much they need to rehearse to overcome stagefright.    One answer is “If you can pass the Larry King test, you’ll do fine.”

Turn on the television to The Larry King Show on CNN. Then, with the volume up, try delivering your presentation.   If you can deliver your presentation despite the distraction, then  you should have no problem delivering in spite of your anxiety.

One way to think of stagefright is as a type of distraction to be overcome while speaking.  As you stand to give your presentation, you’re nervous. Your heart is pounding. Your throat is dry.  All of that can wreak havoc with your mental composure.

To learn to overcome these distractions, try creating your own distractions as part of rehearsal.  One such distraction can be a television program like The Larry King Show.  To be able to deliver a presentation with that kind of distraction, you have to know your material cold.  The “Larry King” test will determine whether you know it cold enough to be ready when the nerves hit. 

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