It’s natural to be nervous before being called back to audition or taking the stage.  When you get that dreaded lump in your throat or sweaty palms, it’s also natural to begin obsessing about your anxiety to the point that it’s nearly unbearable.  In order to exude confidence, however, you must learn to calm those moments of panic before showcasing your talent.  Just how can you get your nerves under control?  Here’s some tips from Inc.

One way to calm yourself before a big appearance is to arrive early.  Getting to the event early enough to examine your environment and get a grasp on your surroundings will help comfort you.  When you’re headed to somewhere you’ve never been before, you have to stress about which route is best to take to arrive on time, make sure you’ve followed all directions once you make it there, and then know where to go after that.  Arriving early will help you ease into the situation and allow your mind to focus on preparation rather than simple logistics.

Sometimes all it takes to get used to delivering a speech is to practice, practice, practice.  You may leave the first or second go-around feeling as if you totally blew it, but as you receive more and more invitations, you’ll begin to better understand expectations.  Auditioning or delivering a performance will eventually become second-nature, and once you’ve done it over and over again, your confidence will start to shine through the nerves.

Make a point to watch the performances of others regularly, too.  Watch how others in the industry prepare for a big event.  What techniques do they use to induce calmness and confidence?  Do you notice particular actions they take, such as ensuring they have a bottle of water by their side, or mannerisms during the performance, such as speaking with their hands or looking beyond the audience, focusing on a point in the room that will help them center their thoughts?  Having a better understanding of how others have conquered their fears may help you get over your own anxiousness.

Also, attend forums designed to enhance public speaking skills, such as Toastmasters.  These events will help you informally deliver speeches and receive feedback from others all in the same night.  It may seem uncomfortable at first, but again, practice makes perfect.  The important thing to remember is that everyone gets nervous speaking in from of others.  The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, right?  You are not alone!