Posted in Communication, Presentation Skills, Verbal

Overcoming Stage Fright

I enjoy talking to salespersons because I can tell from their voices if they know their products very well. If a salesperson confidently answers my queries, regardless of what that question might be, he has a greater chance of closing a sale. If at the onset a salesperson’s manner of talking tends to falter, I excuse myself and ask assistance from someone else.

Confidence comes from knowing, from being thoroughly informed. With salespersons, this means being knowledgeable about almost every detail of their product line and service offering. For those giving a speech or presentation, it simply means knowing your material inside and out.

Look at any self-help book or material on overcoming stage fright, and you’ll see the same recurring tip. Chris Widener, speaker, author, and radio host had written, “Know your stuff! The best thing you can do is to be overwhelmingly, thoroughly, and completely prepared and in mastery of your material.”

In 10 Tips for Public Speaking, tip number 1 says, “Know your material. . . Know more about it than you include in your speech.”

Keep stage fright at bay. Stock up on confidence by knowing your material really well. By developing this habit, you may find yourself enjoying answering questions or parrying them with grace. “Stage fright? What stage fright? I wasn’t nervous at all!”

– The Best Practical Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright (
– 10 Tips for Public Speaking (Toastmasters International website)