You've got to give a presentation in five minutes on a topic you know well... but in front of a group you don't know so well. How do you feel before stepping in front of the group? Are there snakes in your stomach? Are your palms sweaty? Do you feel like running away?
The fear of public speaking is as old as humanity itself. Somewhere back in the day, a caveman took one look at a cave filled with his friends and decided not to tell them about the bear he chased that day.
If you can relate, maybe it's time to try a new approach. Check out these six ways to reduce or eliminate your fear of those many pairs of eyes and ears watching and listening to you.
1. Work out
We know that endorphins make us happy, and that working out can release endorphins into the brain, giving us that "I feel awesome!" sensation. But did you know this sensation can last all the way up to your speech?
Studies on the phenomenon, also known as "runner's high," have suggested that if you work out in the morning, you may feel great all the way into the afternoon. That can be a sneaky way to trick your brain into feeling good before you step onto the stage.
2. Assume the power stance
If you want to feel bold and mighty, try this out: Stand with your hands on your hips and your legs spread apart, and imagine you're Wonder Woman. Sound crazy? According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy, a power stance could be the difference between feeling confident and feeling weak.