Image
  • Know the room. Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
 
  • Know the audience. Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It's easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.
 
  • Know your material. If you're not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech and revise it if necessary.  
 
  • Relax. Ease tension by doing exercises.
 
  • Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.
 
  • Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative, and entertaining. They don't want you to fail.
 
  • Don't apologize. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience's attention to something they hadn't noticed. Keep silent.
 
  • Concentrate on the message -- not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and outwardly toward your message and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate.
 
  • Turn nervousness into positive energy. Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.
 
  • Gain experience. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. A Toastmasters club can provide the experience you need.