Stage fright can happen even when you are not on a stage. It can happen in a boardroom, a meeting or one on one conversations like a job interview.
Even when you are supremely confident, stress can creep in. Yesterday, I watched the Titans play the Seahawks. The game went into overtime and mistakes were being made on both sides. The announcer blamed the stress levels that were heightened for both teams because it was such a close game. Confidence wasn’t the issue, the situation itself was.
Being nervous is normal when speaking and, like anything else, takes practice to control. Practicing what you are planning to say goes a long way to help here. Notes as well. But instead of being crippled by it, see it as the ribbon not at the finish line but at the start. As you step up to speak, that’s when you begin winning. You have broken the barrier, now you have to run the marathon.
Having no fear can also be your undoing. Overconfidence breeds lack of effort. I’m not nervous about bowling but that doesn’t make me good at it. Recognize that just because you are extroverted and fearless in front of people that you still need solid communication soft skills.
And please, don’t picture the audience in their underwear. That’s the single, dumbest, piece of advice given far too often.