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Overcome speaking anxiety

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Sweaty hands and a few butterflies before a speech are natural. Paralyzing anxiety over having to speak in public is not. Follow these tips to overcome your anxiety:

  • Exercise. Work out for at least 15 minutes about an hour or two before you speak. You’ll be better able to focus with the increased oxygen.
  • Recite affirmations. Positive affirmations have been shown to boost confidence levels. Statements like “I will nail my speech and overcome my fear” lower stress levels and ease anxiety.
  • Join a support group. Toastmasters International offers small group meetings across the world. You can practice your public speaking in front of a small group until you are comfortable speaking in front of larger ones.

— Adapted from “Conquering Fear of Public Speaking,” Susan Kuchinskas, www.webmd.com.

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