Getting Over Stage Fright

Are you nervous about your upcoming presentation?

Having a career in business necessitates giving presentations and speeches every now and then. If you suffer from stage fright, this can be a pretty terrifying prospect. However, learning to speak in front of groups with confidence will equip you with some of the skills necessary to move up the corporate ladder. Use these tips to overcome your fear:

Prepare excessively
Confidence comes from being prepared and secure in your business knowledge. It's better to be over-prepared than under, so as you create your speech or presentation, keep your audience in mind and do thorough research to make sure the material is something that will interest them. You may even want to talk to some of your colleagues ahead of time and ask them what they would like to hear during your presentation - hit on those major points and you're virtually guaranteed that they'll be engaged in what you're saying.

Practice makes perfect
Never go into a meeting planning to just "wing it" - it will only make you more nervous. Instead, practice your speech multiple times (with note cards or slides). Record yourself on video to see areas where you can improve, or practice in front of a few co-workers and ask for constructive criticism. Better to overcome your stage fright now than have it creep up on during the big meeting.

Just breathe
On the day of your presentation, remember to stay calm. Accept any feelings of anxiousness or nervousness you may have, take a few deep breaths, and focus on something calming. You are prepared, you have practiced and you are ready to knock this presentation out of the park! Walk in the room with confidence and stay focused throughout your speech.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online bachelor degree programs in business and online MBA programs. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_business

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