When you’re going to talk at a meeting, see the boss, or give a speech, it’s normal to be nervous. Dorothy Leeds, author of Power Speak gives this advice that helps:
- Prepare. Make an outline of what you will say. Do a dress rehearsal to see how you look even if it’s just a raise request to a supervisor.
- Check the meeting plan. Know when you will be able to speak.
- Visualize yourself doing well, having a successful talk with the boss or making good points at the meeting.
- Memorize a few opening sentences. After that you can look at your notes.
- Walk calmly, take a few deep breaths as you wait to speak. Arrange your notes and materials.
- Don’t forget to breathe when you are speaking. If it helps, put a symbol in your notes indicating breaths.
- Watch your gestures. Don’t hold a paper if you are shaky.
- Learn to pause. It lets the audience catch up with you.
- Never tell the audience you are nervous.