Management Tip of the Day: 4 ways to reduce stage fright

Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:15am EDT
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BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Butterflies in the stomach, waning confidence, sweaty palms - even people who regularly present in front of audiences get stage fright. You may not be able to eliminate your fear completely, but below are four ways to help you handle the symptoms:

1. Focus on your audience. Pick a person in the crowd and speak directly to him. Then find another person and deliver your next message directly to her.

2. Re-label negatives as positives. Instead of considering your symptoms of stage fright an indication of nerves, think about them as signs of anticipation or excitement.

3. Avoid rigid rules. Don't be overly focused on what makes a good presentation. There are no set rules.

4. Remember that you don't look that nervous. Research shows that self-assessment of presentations is often overly harsh. If you assume you look calm and relaxed to your audience, you will.'

- Today's Management Tip was adapted from Guide to Persuasive Presentations.

<p>A huge silhouette of British pop star Sir Paul McCartney is displayed on the stage at the beginning of his concert in front of Rome's ancient Colosseum May 11, 2003. REUTERS/ Alessia Pierdomenico</p>