HARVARD MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION LETTER

Coping with Stagefright

How to turn terror into dynamic speaking

by John Daly and Isa Engleberg

You're about to make an important presentation. People are streaming into the room. Your boss is sitting up front. Important clients are sitting in the second row. Your boss stands to introduce you and you walk toward the stage.

As you approach the front of the room your confidence wanes. Your stomach starts doing somersaults, your palms are sweating, and your mouth feels parched. You pick up your notes and your hands are shaking. Thank goodness, you say to yourself, for the lectern. As you start to speak you hear your voice quiver and you feel your skin beginning to blush.

Welcome to the world of stagefright! ...

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