Don't Be Afraid
Are you a big scaredy-cat? Here's how to turn terror into super-confidence.
If all the world's a stage, what should you do to combat the business equivalent of stage fright? "Business is one series of important 'presentations' after another," says Dianna Booher, CEO of Booher Consultants in Colleyville, Texas, and author of Communicate with Confidence (McGraw-Hill). "Whether it's a formal speech or a conversation with a potential client, these are all ways we put ourselves and our ideas on display. And if we're not 'on,' we're off-and often out."
Your fears may or may not be rational, but in either case, Booher says, you can use them to build confidence and generate the adrenaline that pushes you to peak performance. She points out that fear is a learned response, and if it can be learned, it can be unlearned-or at least harnessed. In attempting to control your fear and its companion, nervousness, remind yourself to never give in. "Refuse to take that first step toward letting yourself fall apart," says Booher. "Instead of thinking about how you might embarrass yourself, concentrate on your subject."
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