Whether it's a speech at a professional meeting, a wedding toast, or competing in a sports event, sweaty palms and shaky knees are commonplace when speaking or performing in front of a group of people. In fact, most people experience some form of performance anxiety, if only mild. A lot can be at stake, since a good public showing might advance a career, for example. Yet fear can trip anyone up with an increased heart rate and a suddenly blank mind.
There are many practical tips for overcoming the anxiety associated with stage fright. The first is to have a firm grip on the topic or situation at hand—winging it doesn’t usually work. Practice helps, and rehearsing in front of a mirror or a friend while using index cards, if necessary, is even better. Finally, it is essential to prepare for inevitable questions which, again goes back to being very familiar with the topic at hand.