Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Scared Spitless in Front of an Audience?


If you’re in management you probably have had to get up in front of 2-2000 people once-in-awhile. And, if you’re like most people, you’re at least a little tenuous. As a long-time ‘trainer of trainers’, and a speaker, I’ve developed some easy methods to gain confidence, relax, and actually look forward to being in the spotlight.

Here are five best tips:

1. Practice.
I know it’s old-fashioned, but, as a pianist my whole life, I know nothing reduces anxiety like practice. If you know what to expect already from your practice, your anxiety level goes way down and your confidence goes way up.

2. Envision success.
Create a picture of your mind about ‘after the event’. See the people clapping for you. See them smiling. Hear the applause and the positive comments. Feel the warmth coming to you like a comforting blanket. Then, if you have a moment of ‘white noise’ in your head, it won’t rattle you forever, because you are keeping the end firmly in mind–and it’s a stunning end!

3. Pretend you’re Johnny Carson
Remember when Johnny did The Great Carsoni with Ed McMahon? Most of the fun was when Johnny fouled up. Those were the biggest laughs. When you practice, and envison the end, you can relax and let the unexpected become reasons to laugh with the audience. (and you won’t worry about being ‘funny’….)

4. Create a great introducction
I learned, as a member of National Speakers’ Association (NSA), always to write my own introduction. I’ve found that listening to nice things about me (even if I did write them!), is a confidence-booster and has a calming effect.

5. Take a class in presentations/facilitation
So much of our anxiety comes from the feeling we don’t know how to prepare. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Taking a course (such as the one I teach, Instructor Development Workshop), gives you the processes and the skills to put together a presentation, workshop, or keynote that always works for you.

Becoming a confident, competent presenter doesn’t happen overnight. But, it is worth your investing in yourself to discover it can be very enjoyable–and meaningful to your audience–for you to share your talents–in a skilled, creative fashion.

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