1 Know the room

Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.

2 Know the audience

Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It's easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.

3 Know your material

If you're not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech and revise it if necessary.

4 Relax

Ease tension by doing exercises.

5 Visualize yourself giving your speech

Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.

6 Realize that people want you to succeed

Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative, and entertaining. They don't want you to fail.

7 Don't apologize

If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience's attention to something they hadn't noticed. Keep silent.

8 Concentrate on the message -- not the medium

Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and outwardly toward your message and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate.

9 Turn nervousness into positive energy

Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.

10 Gain experience

Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking.