If public speaking freaks you out, here are four rituals that Harvard Business Review Contributor Nancy Duarte says can pump you up, or calm you down.

  • The Empathy Ritual can help you connect to your audience. Get to know your audience by working the room before you speak. Or sit in the audience seats looking at the stage so you see what they’ll see when you’re up there.
  • The Exertion Ritual is about getting your heart moving and boosting your energy level. Work out before hand. Dance in the privacy of your hotel room or office, or jump up and down back stage.
  • Spiritual Rituals like moments of silence and stillness can reduce jitters and make you feel more grounded. Do some deep breathing and meditation before you step to the mic.
  • Finally, Mantra-Based Rituals use repetition and self talk to calm you. Repeat your favorite mantra or something else like, “I’m here to give and inspire.”

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