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You will be calm, collected, and prepared to address the audience. When you next speak you will be ready, right? Here’s how to make it happen.

Begin by changing the way you look at nervousness. Some years ago, my youngest son was preparing for a very competitive soccer game. He explained to his older brother that he always seems to get nervous right before such a match. His older brother then shared an impressive view on nervousness. He taught that it could be viewed as a sign that the body was gearing up for the big game. He suggested that the nerves his younger brother was experiencing were related to heightened perception, increased heart rate oxygenating his systems, and muscle tenseness in preparation of the event. “Just think of it as your body getting ready to do its best” he said.

Many speakers experience similar nervousness and perhaps even trepidation. They may experience dry mouth, a racing heart rate, nervous stomach, or sweaty palms as they take the stage. Are you one of them? Such feelings are common. Perhaps it is just your body getting ready to do its best.

We all experience fear in one form or another, especially when all eyes are focused on us. Public speaking is commonly dreaded for that very reason. The phenomenon known as glossophobia, is the intense anxiety of public speaking. Some statistics place fear of speaking more rampant than fear of snakes or even fear of death. Imagine, greater than fear of death? Recognize that one’s perspective is their reality. Fear only knows what feeds it. Below, I discuss 10 time-proven tips to improve your ability to address a large group.

  1. Great Listeners Make Better Speakers

Begin to interact with others in such a way that you increase your ability to listen. While conversing, instead of thinking about what you might next say, redirect your full attention to what the other person is saying. Think only about fully understanding her. This practice prepares you to improve your speaking. It helps you easily recognize speaking cues that make listening more rewarding. Great listeners make better speakers.

2) Most audiences are very kind and looking forward to the experience

If you want to draw in the crowd, speak to their hearts. People of all shapes and sizes, status, and position are sitting in the audience. Like you, they have feelings that create emotion and energy. People gravitate to speakers who move them. Your audience is not critiquing you, rather they are anxious for you to be successful.

3) Keep Your Content Relevant

Your speech should address the topic, clarify the issues, and form a story allowing the listener to easily assimilate the material. This is true of your medium selection as well. Avoid multiple fly-in, fly-out, trapezoid blasts and color bursts throughout your screen presentations. Instead use materials that allow you convey a message succinctly and with focus. Fluff is for pillows, speak purposefully. Content that is easily assimilated wins.

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