Five Tactics To Overcome Stage Fright Here are five tips to incorporate into the run up to your next big presentation that will have your mind at ease and focusing on clearly getting your communication across to your audience.

By Anna Roberts

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


"Just imagine the audience naked."

Easier said than done, right?

It's the go-to comment that many people receive just before they present to a live audience, but it's the last thing you should try and do, because we all know that it doesn't actually work.

Your mind is working overtime to remember what you are supposed to say next, you're trying to read the audiences faces to see if they like what they're hearing, and you wish you could curl up on the floor and wait for it all to over and done with right this second.

Well, gone are the days of awkward visuals of your audience. Here are my five tactics to incorporate into the run up to your next big presentation that will have your mind at ease and focusing on clearly getting your communication across to your audience and actually enjoying yourself up on stage.

1. No, it's not about you.

"But, I'm the one standing on stage, how can it not be about me?"

Well very simply put, you're not there because you love the sound of your own voice, you're there with a job to do– entertain, inform or educate the audience. So with that, take the pressure off yourself and focus on getting your information and emotions across to the crowd. If you're worried about what the audience is thinking, simply put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself, "What questions would they like answered? What background information do I need to give them for my argument to make sense?" And remember, the audience are glad they are not up there speaking on stage, so they will be listening intently to what you have to say and supporting you along the way.

2. The audiences have their articulate listening faces on.

A lot of people have a very unemotional face when they are sitting in the audience, which should actually be described as an articulate listening face. When a person is listening, they are fully present in the moment and not thinking about anything else. That means they probably wont be smiling at you or telling you to continue on talking. You've got to remember your audience is busy listening and taking in a whole load of new information; it's your job to feed it to them by continuing to speak.

3. You won't forget what you're going to say.

When you're on stage talking about your successes in your last financial year, or pitching your business to a new client, you're talking about knowledge, experiences and emotions only you have felt. No one else shares exactly the same history or memories as you do, and therefore, it's only a story that you can tell because it only comes from you. You are an expert in whatever subject you are speaking about– be it personal, professional or opinions on events, and you owe it to the world to share your knowledge and experiences; they're unique to you!

4. Stop thinking in the subjunctive.

We all too easily create scenarios in our head that easily mirror our worst fear– that we might embarrass ourselves. I'd like to propose you stop talking about speeches like they have an uncertain future. If you're able to control 90% of the presentation, why think about what could go wrong? Your ideas, your words and how you deliver it have all been prepared and rehearsed so there's very little left to chance. Many organizations reference the 7 P's: Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance, and this really can be a make or break strategy to be applied to most business scenarios, and one that can be adapted to your public interactions.

5. Give yourself a pep talk.

From motivational quotes, affirmations or listening to your favorite song before you get out of the car in the morning can all help your feel-good factor. By lifting your mental game, you change the way your see yourself, get rid of all the negative comments you've conjured up in your head and put the audience at ease that you know the subject matter and what you have to say deserves to be listened to and acted upon accordingly. That also goes for your morning routine; getting in some gentle exercise will settle the nerves that are overflowing, a light breakfast will stabilize your blood sugar and you'll have time to make sure you're in comfortable clothes and shoes. Remember, it's a privilege to address an audience, don't take it lightly.

Wavy Line
Anna Roberts

Founder and Managing Director, Nudge

Anna Roberts, a radio and TV presenter in Dubai, is the founder of Nudge, a communications advisory specializing in public speaking and media training. Anna has interviewed the worlds most high profile sports stars and corporate leaders and believes that business success stems from authentic and effective communication.

Her belief is that everyone should have the tools and confidence to give their ideas a voice, from entrepreneurs pitching for investment through to keynote presentations.

See her work across print regional publications and online on her website where she discusses everything from how to handle a media scrum through to elevating your confidence on stage. Visit and talk to her on Twitter @ImAnnaRoberts #TheNudgeEffect.

Related Topics

News and Trends

According to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, This Is The Skill That Entrepreneurs Must Absolutely Have To Ensure Their Success

Altman shared his thoughts at an event hosted by Abu Dhabi-based Hub71 earlier this week.

Business News

Dam Destruction in Ukraine Sends Global Prices of 2 Common Food Crops Back Up

The flooding threatened hundreds of thousands of residents and a large nuclear power plant.


5 Traits and Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs in 2023

Entrepreneurship has become the new trending topic in the business world. In 2023, the entrepreneurial world is expected to flourish more than ever, and it will take a certain set of skills to be a successful entrepreneur. This article highlights what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in 2023.

Growing a Business

How to Disrupt Hustle Culture and Build a Business That Supports Your Wellness

You can leave work at five each day. You can turn off your phone in the evenings and take weekends off. You can exercise. You can be fully present with your family. You will be better for it, and so will your business.

Business Ideas

Top 25 Side Hustles to Make Money During Summer 2023

While the weather is warm, there are numerous ways to earn additional income. It is even possible to make money year-round with many of these ideas. But, here are the top 25 side hustles to make money during the summer.