Just because you have to deal with stage fright does not mean that you have to be a bad speaker. I don’t know anyone that does not have a difficult time speaking in front of an audience to one degree or another. In fact, a healthy amount of fear while giving a speech will help you to be a better speaker. So you have a choice to make, you can either fall apart because you are afraid to speak in front of an audience or you can use your fear to help you to be the best speaker possible. Here are some typical problems that many new speakers face that can make you a bad speaker and can easily be overcome with a little practice.
Some people that have anxieties tend to take their problems to the opposite extreme. For example, if somebody is dealing with stage fright they may overcompensate by becoming overly relaxed. This will not come across as you being relaxed and poised to your audience. What it will do, however, is to make you a poor speaker. One classic example of this is that many new speakers that are nervous will overcompensate for their nervousness by leaning on the podium or becoming overly familiar with a strange audience. It is necessary to maintain your composure by standing up tall when you’re speaking and to build a relationship with your audience during the course of your presentation. Do not allow your nervousness to make you seem arrogant.
Another problem that many people have is that they let their nervousness show up by using unnatural body inflections. I once heard a talk that was given by somebody that was supposed to be experienced yet the entire time that they were speaking they were jingling their keys in their pocket. This was not only distracting but it also showed that the person was nervous and was difficult to concentrate on the information that they were trying to convey. Nervousness can also show up in over gesturing or facial tics. One of the best ways to pick up on this kind of a problem is to have somebody videotape you giving the presentation in front of a group of trusted friends. You can then watch yourself for any body movements that come across as being unnatural.
The most important thing in dealing with stage fright is that you do not allow your audience to know that you are nervous. Many speakers will feed off of the emotions of their audience and if they are able to control the situation they’re stage fright will disappear quickly after they began their presentation. This is something that is very important to remember because if you are dealing with severe stage fright you need to handle yourself correctly from the beginning in order to overcome it. Once you realize that you are in control of the situation it will be much easier for you to relax and to go through your information in a logical and comfortable manner.