Chapter 2: Overcoming Stage Fright

How do you master presentation panic? When your stomach begins to churn, your palms begin to sweat, your hands shake, and your voice cracks—how do you lift yourself above the panic and deliver a calm, collected, and poignant speech? ...Get out from under your own internal microscope.
Getting a Grip: How You Can Get Over Stage Fright
Investor's Business Daily
By Gerald A Achstatter

What's the one thing you need to remember when you're giving a speech? It's not about you! If you take the focus off of yourself and put it on the audience, you'll be less concerned about your fears and more focused on uncovering ways to better serve your listeners. And, isn't that the point?

The biggest thing you can do to keep your stage fright at bay is to keep the situation in perspective. The fear of public speaking is often based on misinformation as well as false expectations about the roles of the speaker and the audience. If you're a jittery speaker, you're probably placing unrealistic demands on yourself because you think you're totally responsible for the overall impression that people take from our speech. That's not entirely true.

Although we should manage the parts of our public speaking experience that are in our control we also need to realize that the audience—which may include, colleagues, superiors, family members, friends, and the media—also contribute to the situation. You'll be less nervous if you expect that other people will help contribute to the success of the event as well. Of course, you should manage as many factors as you possibly can but your primary motivation should be tied to meeting your audience's needs; not your own vanity. If you have this mindset, you'll have little time for stage fright.

Ah, but let's say you're still having trouble getting a grip? This chapter offers suggestions that enable you to rise above your fears and deliver your next speech with style and grace.


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