If that sounds like the way you feel before giving a speech or presentation, take these steps to success:
- Do a few warm-up exercises.
2. Identify an incident or experience you had that provokes a stress reaction, then start “journaling.” Over a period of days, weeks or months, track how anxious that trigger makes you feel on a scale from 1 to 10. This exercise alone will reduce your anxiety.
3. To the right of your list of the worst things that could happen, write a list of the best things: what you want to happen. Keep them performance-related.
- Review your materials. Whether you’re working from notes or a script,practice aloud and at the proper pacing. If you can, practice where you’ll be delivering the presentation.
- Visualize giving the perfect performance. Find a quiet place, calm your mind, then imagine walking down an imaginary staircase. If your mind wanders, gently guide yourself back.
Now that you’re ready, just go for it.
— Adapted from Speak Without Fear, Ivy Naistadt, HarperResource.