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When you're going to talk at a meeting, see the boss, or give a speech, it's normal to be nervous. Dorothy Leeds, author of Power-Speak, gives this advice that helps:

Prepare. Make an outline of what you will say. Do a dress rehearsal to see how you look even if it's just a raise request to a supervisor.

Check the meeting plan. Know when you will be able to speak.

Visualize yourself doing well, having a successful talk with the boss or making good points at the meeting.

Walk calmly, take a few deep breaths as you wait to speak. Arrange your notes and materials.

Don't forget to breathe when you are speaking. If it helps, put a symbol in your notes indicating breaths.

Watch your gestures. Don't hold a paper if you are shaky.

Use direct eye contact, animation, and maintain a high energy level.

Learn to pause. It lets the audience catch up with you.

Never tell the audience you are nervous.



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