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Conquer public-speaking fears

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Are you afraid of public speaking? Of course you are. Isn't everyone? Here are some suggestions that can help:

Know what you want to say. Before worrying about worrying, decide what you want to say. Anxiety usually begins with concern or uncertainty about the message you want to get across. Write down your major points; arrange them in a logical, easy-to-follow sequence. Think about your call to action—what you want the audience to do as a result of what you're telling them. Give yourself clarity about your content, and you'll find that your anxiety will be greatly reduced. 

Know how you want to say it. Practice your presentation skills. Break the process down into small steps and master each one. Start at the beginning—practice standing up. Sit in a chair in front of a mirror and watch yourself stand up. Look directly into your own eyes. When you feel good about that, practice introducing yourself. Record your voice and see how you sound. Then get back in front of the mirror and practice introducing your subject. Sooner than you think, you'll feel ready.

Give yourself a break. If you've got good material and good presentation skills, don't let self-criticism hold you down. Be honest with yourself about the consequences of failure. They're probably not really that great.

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