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Fearless In Five    Presentation Power    Recommendations

10 Quick Tips to Reduce Public Speaking Fears

1. Give up the idea of perfection
Many people assume that when they present or perform they cannot be anything less than perfect. Anyone that has been in front of audiences consistently can tell you that there is no such thing as perfection.
2. Know your topic and audience
Doing your homework and research with eliminate 75-80% of your fears. Most people are under-prepared when they get up to speak. Invest in your audience and you will be rewarded.
3. Arm yourself with a relevant and expert presentation
Think of the absolute worst questions that you could ever be asked. Be prepared with answers to those questions and you will dramatically reduce mental stress and performance anxiety.
4. Practice aloud - even if itís a 30 second introduction
Many people invest time in preparing a physical presentation or notes but do not venture to practice aloud. Getting the presentation on its feet and practicing it aloud without an audience will do much to prepare you. You will naturally find yourself changing, refining or improving your content once you have put your presentation/speech together. Practicing aloud will also give you greater confidence because when you present, it wonít be the first time that you are doing your presentation. Practice your entire presentation a minimum of 3 times before you speak to a group.
5. Always warm up
Warming up your body and voice at the beginning of an important day or right before a presentation will dramatically open up your body, gestures and vocal range. Five minutes of stretching and three minutes of singing will make you more at ease.
6. Donít apologize for yourself
Remember - people want you to be good. 99 times out of 100, audiences are on your side.
7. Think positive thoughts while focusing on your breathing
If you feel your heart palpitating, simply focus on breathing deeply imagining yourself filling up with love on the inhale, and on the exhale let go of any tension or stress.
8. Hold microphones with your non-dominant hand
If you are given a microphone, hold it in your non-dominant hand so that you can gesture freely with the hand you normally write with. You will feel much more comfortable physically if you follow this simple advice.
9. Join Toastmasterís, a speaking association, or an acting class
Again, there is no substitute for practice. Toastmasterís, speakerís associations or even an acting class can teach you very important skills and give you a safe environment to improve your public speaking or overall communication.
If you donít have these resources available to you, run your presentations by several family members, friends or colleagues you trust for constructive feedback.
10. Hire a professional coach
If you have a very important presentation coming up or if your livelihood is connected at all to your communication skills, consider hiring a professional coach - top athletes would never enter a competition without the support of the best coach they can find.