Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking is common, and for good reason. In fact, it is the greatest fear out there. Having to get up before a large group of people is challenging. There is the pressure of giving a good speech, of getting your point across, of not making a mistake, of impressing them, and having them like you. For many, this causes anxiety and stress prior to and during a presentation. So, lets look at some ways you can reduce or get rid of your anxiety before giving that important presentation.
Know Your Information
More then anything else, know what you are talking about. Know the subject inside and out. Ask yourself questions when reciting what you will say. Question it if it sounds stupid and come up with answers to every possible question. By knowing the subject, you can increase your confidence. Regardless of what else happens, you are at least a knowledgeable source of information regarding the topic. So study it.
Practice and Record
Outside of knowing the subject, practicing the speech is the second most useful thing you can do to help reduce your anxiety. Start by giving the speech. After a few goes, time yourself. Individuals have a tendency to speed up while giving a speech. Breath, and remain slow. In addition to practicing, you should do something that few people enjoy. Record yourself. Listen to what you have to say, and listen to your voice. Give a speech, listen, and be constructive. Beating yourself up solves nothing, while carefully listening for pitch, speed, and tone will help you better relate your message to others.
Be Master of Your Space
One way to decrease your anxieties is to master your space. Be familiar with the room before you give a speech. Know where outlets are, where water may be for you to sip, and where people are going to be. When it comes to your technology, practice it. When you are giving your speech, practice the hand movements. Practice your pauses, and practice slide or presentation transitions. Know your technology inside and out, as well as ways to troubleshoot problems.
You may never feel no anxiety when public speaking, but that is all right. Everyone has anxiety on one level or another. Instead of focusing on the anxiety, focus on the three things covered here instead and good luck.