Talking in front of people can be dibillitating for some of us. You can’t focus and your mouth won’t work properly. And then, don’t even get us started on cotton mouth. For others, it’s no big deal.

Standing in front of groups, no matter the size, can be uncomfortable. You’re putting yourself out there – to be judged, or so you think. Here are some tips to help reduce the sweaty palms and stave off a case of the ums.

  1. Practice, practice, practice – pilots don’t get to fly the airplane right away. Find a safe place or a colleague to practice your speech with.
  2. Don’t sweat it – be confident, you are so prepared after step one above there’s no other outcome then SUCCESS.
  3. Don’t fidget – hold steady, if you have to move around as part of your speaking engagement move with purposes.
  4. Oh my gosh, I have hands. Don’t wave your hands in the air like you’re trying to clear the smoke detector in your apartment after burning noodles. Use hand gestures sparingly, in fact hold a pen or some other useful tool to steady your hands…and your nerves.
  5. Everybody loves visuals. Use them only if appropriate to your presentation. It’s important to not let them become a distraction.
  6. Know your audience – do your research on them like they’ve no doubt done on you.
  7. Get your audience involved that way everyone wins – make it a true back-and-forth.
  8. Have a plan for the outcome – what’s the audiences takeaway?
  9. If this is an external speaking engagement, thank them for inviting you to address them.

Master these steps and you will become more confortable with each passing speaking opportunity.

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