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Chapter 2. Stage Fright > Why You're Afraid - Pg. 11

Stage Fright Stage fright is the physical and psychological terror some people feel when speaking in public. The symptoms include shaking, nausea, sweating, and dry mouth. 11 Fear of the Audience I've actually had speakers tell me, "I know the audience hates me. They're out to get me!" My re- sponse? "Your audience wants you to do well. In fact, these people are delighted that you're up there instead of them. It means that they can merely sit in the audience and enjoy the speech." Audiences are usually very sympathetic to the problem of stage fright. To the extent that listeners may notice symptoms of stage fright, they will usually react in a friendly and encouraging manner. How we perceive the audience affects our degree of apprehension and nervousness. The more you fear the audience, the more nervous you become. Try these strategies for overcoming this source of stage fright: · Pick your own subject matter.The more you like your subject, the more apt you are to see your audience as friendly. You'll assume your audience shares your passion and thus will transfer your enthusiasm for the speech to the listeners. Class Act Avoid drinking or eating anything with high caffeine content the day before your speech and the day of the