"public speaking"Do you have an engagement coming up that requires you to speak in front of an audience? Do you find that your stomach is filled with butterflies when thinking about this public speaking engagement?

Whether you are speaking in front of your co-workers at a business meeting, you are making a presentation for a class or you are making the best man speech at a wedding, it is completely natural to feel apprehensive about the engagement. Whether the audience is large or small, those butterflies in your stomach can quickly multiply the closer you get near to your public speaking engagement. Take a deep breath and relax, because here are some tips that can help you ease those butterflies in your stomach and feel more confident at your next public speaking engagement.

Practice, Practice, Practice. It can’t be stressed enough just how important practicing is before you make your speech. Practicing will allow you to become familiar with your speech and commit, if not all, at least part of your speech to memory, which will help you avoid stumbling over your words and getting tripped up. Being sure of what you are going to say will help to ease those butterflies and instill confidence in you.

Use Some Humor. Try starting off your speech with a little bit of humor. Not only will this make your audience comfortable with you, but it will make you more comfortable with them. Don’t tell a tactless joke or say something that will leave a bad taste in your audiences’ mouth, instead, try saying something that has just the right type of humor, like a little tasteful quip that your audience can relate to and that also relates to the topic you will be speaking about.

Dress to Impress. Many people feel uncomfortable when they make a presentation because they don’t know how people are going to react to their appearance, which can certainly add to those butterflies. Make sure that you dress to impress your audience and you will feel much more confident. Wear something that is suitable for the setting and the audience you are speaking to; business attire, business casual, or formal attire, for example.

Accept Your Butterflies. One of the biggest problems with anxiety is that many people feed into it. When you feed into anxiety, you also start to worry about that, which will only increase your butterflies and make you more aware of what you are nervous about. Instead of trying to ease your nerves, accept them. Trying to force yourself to get over your nerves may make you even more nervous, thus further hindering your performance.

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