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What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Public Speaking

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This story appears in the April 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Talking PointsImportant Thing to Note No. 1: You're not as bad a speaker as you think. "When we have people give talks in shyness groups, they often do much better than they thought they did. There's a tendency to underrate your performance when you're feeling shy," says Dr. Lynne Henderson, director of the Shyness Institute, a nonprofit in Berkeley, Calif., that's dedicated to researching and developing manuals on social anxiety.

Important Thing to Note No. 2: A little anxiety is good.* Because it means you care. You just need to care about the right things. And the right thing in this situation is: the audience. The last thing the audience wants to do is sit there for half an hour and watch someone fidget and have difficulty speaking. They want to listen to someone who is in control. Because someone in control is someone who can help--someone who can help them, specifically.

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