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The Top 10 Points for Eliminating Speaker Jitters

1. Nervousness is fear of failure.

Here is the secret of conquering anxiety. Become message-centered and audience-centered, not self-centered. Stop thinking of yourself, and start thinking of your message.

2. If you are thoroughly prepared, your internal nervousness seldom shows.

Prepare 150%.

3. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Talk out loud, and walk around while you practice. Use the same physical energy you plan to use on the day of your presentation. Practice in the car. If you can concentrate while driving, you will be able to pull it from your unconscious when you are in front of the group. Make your points sound off-the-cuff and conversational.

4. Practice in front of your mirror.

5. Exercise is an antidote to stress.

Arrive early and take a brisk walk for at least five minutes. If it is raining or snowing outside, you can still do some body stretches.

6. Abstain from caffeine and alcohol before you speak.

You don't need more jitters. Always wear your favorite outfit and use attractive colors. Women, go simple on the jewelry. Avoid too much black and white.

7. For trembling hands, place your hands on the side of your chair and count to 10 as you try to lift the seat.

This is an isometric exercise that works... and nobody will notice you doing it.

8. Don't be perfect - give yourself permission to make mistakes.

People are not perfect in real life.

9. Remember, you want to be nervous.

It can be a positive reaction. You don't want to eliminate the butterflies in your stomach; you want to get them to fly in formation. When that happens, you will have converted your stress into speaking power!

10. Most of all - enjoy yourself and have fun.

SMILE. After all, aren't you glad to be there? The sign of a mature adult is that you are not taking yourself too seriously.

About the Submitter:

This piece was originally submitted by Sandra Schrift, M.A., Executive speech coach/career coach to professional speakers, who can be reached at sandra@schrift.com, or visited on the web.

Copyright 2000-2004 CoachVille, LLC. May be distributed if full attribution is given and copyright notice is included.