Appearing confident and poised can be a struggle when you're facing an audience of a hundred-or even one-if you fear speaking in public. But when your business is the reason you're there, a shaky performance can block the very goal you're trying to accomplish. Take hold of your fear with these 4 tips:

1. Do what you fear-and do it often . If your problem is speaking in public, tackle it head on. Try to speak at as many public venues as you possibly can until you dominate that fear. When you do this, you'll find that people are really there to hear you and learn from what you have to say.

2. Take stock of your assets . On a sheet of paper, write down the reasons why you think your message should be heard and why you're the best person to communicate that information. This exercise will help boost your confidence when you feel most intimidated.

3. Start in a "low risk" environment . Build your confidence by speaking regularly to smaller, more sympathetic audiences before taking on a high-stakes speech like asking for money from a group of prospective investors.

4. Put your fear in perspective . Which is more terrifying to you-giving a speech in front of 50 people or not fulfilling your entrepreneurial dream? Put a dollar amount on what you stand to lose if you allow your fear of public speaking to hold you back. Is it worth the price?