1. Know your material inside out

One of the best ways to reduce stage fright is to thoroughly prepare your content. Conduct thorough research on your topic, organize your ideas into a clear structure, and practice your presentation until you feel confident with the flow. The more familiar you are with your material, the more confident you'll feel when speaking in front of others. Sorry, no shortcuts here!

2. Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques

Before your presentation, take a few minutes to practice deep breathing exercises or relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation. These practices can help calm your nerves, reduce physical tension, and promote a sense of centredness and focus. You recognise the feeling of your heart racing and shortness of breath? Okay, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques are designed to control those symptoms directly.

3. Visualize a successful outcome

Harness the power of visualization to overcome stage fright. Close your eyes and imagine yourself delivering your presentation with confidence, clarity, and poise. Imagine the audience responding positively to your message and engaging with your ideas. By imagining a successful outcome, you can reprogram your mind and create a more positive connection with public speaking. Sounds a bit like some new wave hippy thinking? Well, watch top athletes at the Olympics. Look at high jumpers and long jumpers, they visualise their run-up and their jump in their head. If it works for them, why not you?

4. Focus on your message, not yourself

Instead of worrying about how you're doing or how others see you, focus on your message and the value you give to your audience. Remember that your role is to inform, inspire, or persuade, and concentrate on delivering your content with conviction and clarity. Remember that we are often very critical of ourselves. Consider who you are trying to reach and how you can help them.

5. Connect with your audience

Building a rapport with your audience can help ease your stage fright and create a more engaging presentation. Make eye contact with individual members of the audience, smile genuinely, and use inclusive language that makes them feel involved in the conversation. When you prioritize connecting with your audience, you'll naturally feel more at ease and confident. When making eye contact, let your eyes connect for the length of a thought. Don't just keep shifting your eyes to everyone in the room for a split second. Make that connection with the audience.

6. Use positive self-talk and affirmations

Replace negative self-talk and doubts with positive affirmations and encouragement. Remind yourself of your expertise, the value of your message, and your ability to communicate effectively. Use phrases like, "I am well-prepared and confident," or "I have the power to inspire and engage my audience." By cultivating a supportive inner dialogue, you'll build resilience and confidence in the face of stage fright. I know some of you may find this difficult or too "new age", but with practice this gets easier and is very effective. But again, do what works for you. If you try and don't get on with something, try another tip to help you.

7. Embrace your nerves as a sign of excitement

Reframe your nerves as a sign of excitement and enthusiasm for your topic. Instead of trying to eliminate your anxiety, acknowledge it as a natural response and channel that energy into your presentation. Embracing your nerves can help you feel more authentic and passionate about your message. Now there's actual research into this and it's true. You can reframe your nerves as excitement. Drop me an email and I can send you a copy of the research paper.

8. Practice regularly in low-stakes environments

Seek out opportunities to practice public speaking in low-pressure situations, such as speaking up in meetings, delivering presentations to colleagues etc. The more you practice in a variety of settings, the more comfortable and confident you'll become when facing larger audiences. You often learn best from your experiences, so take the shot! If you don't take the shot, the answer is always no!

9. Celebrate your progress and successes

Acknowledge and celebrate your progress and successes along the way, no matter how small they may seem. Recognize that overcoming stage fright is a journey, and every step forward is worth celebrating. By focusing on your growth and accomplishments, you'll build momentum and confidence in your public speaking abilities. We all like treats, no? So why not reward yourself for a job well done? Be proud of your achievements, take 2 biscuits!!

10. Seek professional support if needed

If your stage fright feels overwhelming or is significantly impacting your personal or professional life, don't hesitate to seek support from a mental health professional. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based techniques can be highly effective in managing anxiety and building confidence in public speaking. Now I can help with frameworks for presentations, advice on how to deliver amongst other things, but if your fear is overwhelming, you will probably benefit from the support of a mental health professional. There's no shame in taking action to improve your mental health.


Overcoming stage fright is a process that requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to challenge yourself. By implementing these 10 proven strategies and cultivating a growth mindset, you can gradually conquer your fear and unleash your inner orator. Remember, every speaking opportunity is a chance to develop your skills, connect with others, and make a meaningful impact. Embrace the journey, trust in your abilities, and watch your confidence soar as you transform stage fright into a platform for personal and professional growth. You'll not turn into a Tony Robbins style presenter overnight, but you can improve with effort and commitment.

If you'd like to know more about how I can help you become a confident and charismatic public speaker visit my services page to see how I can help you overcome your anxiety and present like a pro!