5 ways to overcome your stage fear and nail your speech

A while ago I wrote a blog on “4 ways to improve your Communication Skills”, and many readers replied asking about how to overcome the stage fear or become a good public speaker.

So, let’s talk about it.

First of all, if you feel nervous when speaking in public, know that you’re not alone.

It’s estimated that as much as 75% of the Earth’s population struggles with a fear of public speaking. This implies that some 238 million people feel nervous about addressing others on stage.

These reports were released back in 2015. Over the past years, the number has increased with the growing population.

If you’re a part of this number, wouldn’t you appreciate learning how to love stage and spotlights instead, and nail public speaking?

I’m sure you would 😉

Learning to love addressing the audience on stage and being fond of it may seem like a distant goal. But, as they say, it all starts with a first step.  

So let’s begin with that!

In this case, the first thing you must do is to remind yourself that the topic you’re passionate about is most likely also of interest to listeners. That’s why they are sitting in the audience. And they are listening to your content, not judging you or your orating skills.

Here are some “quick fixes” that you can use when stage fear comes to call.

1. Think right

Think the right thing: it isn’t about you! When we feel anxious before giving a  speech what’s the first thing we really think?

“I’m awful at this”? “I can’t do it”? Or “this is not my thing, I’m not an extrovert person”?

If your answer was any of the above, it’s time to change that!

I know speech anxiety is pretty unpleasant and makes you focus on how awful you’re feeling, instead of what really matters: the response of your audience.

Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they’re hoping to get out of this presentation. What is more important to them? How good or fluent you speak, or what the content that you’re sharing?

It will always be the latter.

So relax, and focus on the knowledge you’re sharing.

2. Greet and smile at your audience

Do you get the same fear when you talk with your parents, siblings friends or someone you are familiar with? Not really, right?

This is because you share a bond with them, and so you have to do the same with the audience.

You have to make them believe that you’re here to connect with them and make a difference or impact their lives.

One of the most effective ways to feel like you have a relationship with your listeners (and therefore feel less anxious) is to take a moment to allow that to happen. You do that in your moment of greeting.

Charge yourself at this moment, letting listeners know that you really enjoy being there. Again, you too will feel it!

3. Let’s light the audience to enlighten them

Standing in a spotlight while addressing feels like standing alone in a harsh glare of light, where everyone notices your move.

But in reality, you’re not alone. All of those people who came to listen to you are not there to judge, but to learn. And they also might have a lot to contribute!

So why not give them the mic sometimes? Let the spotlight shine on them, for a change, and interact with your audience.

This will make you feel less alone, more connected and hence more comfortable 🙂

4. Don’t present the subject, talk about it

Put yourself in the shoes of the audience again and think about the speeches you loved.

Is it the 1-hour speech where the speaker presented without even interacting, or is the 2-minute speech with conversations with the speaker?

Latter one!

Speeches are loved when they are more conversational.

Your speech nerves come relatively from the thought that you’re there to give A SPEECH. In reality, you’ll just be talking to some human beings.

And you do that every day, don’t you? So why be so nervous this time?

5. Move around

When we’re in a state of fear, it releases adrenaline into our bloodstream. It’s called the “fight or flight” response because stress hormones push us to physically fight the threat, or get away fast.

As a result, we feel like we’re in a pressure cooker while speaking to a group.

If we stand stock-still, this pressure keeps building on. So, move around! Release the pressure. The best part is that when we move, the audience feels that we are relaxed.

Performance anxiety and stage fear are perfectly normal and it can be overcome.

Don’t fight your stage fear, work with it and you’ll surely rock your presentations! And remember: the best way to improve in anything is just by practicing it.

Let us know your opinions and how these tactics helped you, we’d love to know 🙂


Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.

4 Unconventional Ways to Manage Stress

Stress is now being termed as a ‘growing youth epidemic’. According to surveys conducted by the American Psychological Association, most teens report stress levels higher than those considered healthy, and the add-ons include depression, chronic fatigue and a lack of appetite due to excessive stress.

With this concerning data, is past time that we all start taking our health more seriously, and do something to improve our mental health.

Here are a few ways to de-stress, unconventionally and effectively!

girl under stress

1. SLOW IT DOWN

When you rush things, your heart rate rises and your blood pressure spikes, inducing stress and discomfort. Event talking too fast makes your body tense and your breath shallow,  hence it is best advised to slow things down and let your words flow, instead of gush, during a conversation.

Focus on the moment-to-moment breakdown of a topic, instead of jumping to the next. This gives you and the people you are interacting with clarity, eliminating the need to over-explaining and overthinking.

girls talking - stress management

Develop this into a habit, and you will slowly find your conversations much more meaningful and rewarding. This will put you at ease emotionally and physically.

2. UP THE ANTE WITH VITAMIN C

Studies have shown that vitamin C reduces both the physical and psychological effects of stress. It allows the body to regulate cortisol, which is a primary stress hormone, preventing blood pressure from spiking during a stressful time.

lemon slices - good for stress

3. REDUCE EXTERNAL DISTURBANCE

Living in a noisy building or on a busy street leads to physical and mental stress, as the constant disturbance keeps your mind alert and on guard.

You can muffle that noise, reduce stress in and around you effectively. Some good noise cancellers options are thick curtains, a white noise machine – which emits a consistent, soothing sound – or just noise-canceling headphones – that play soothing music.

girl with headphones - listen to music to avoid stress

It’s not only about what you hear, but also what you see. Colors have a special effect on the way your body handles stress. Soft colors such as green, blue, and white help soothe the nervous system, while colors such as red may alarm you.

Similarly, calming fragrances like lavender and jasmine help stimulate your mind in a positive way. Incorporate these elements to create a corner solely dedicated to relaxation and to trigger and encourage emotional harmony.

4. PLAN AND ORGANISE

Panicking and being anxious about deadlines and unscheduled work is one of the major reasons why stress can escalate to drastic levels. During the crunch hour, plan out your time effectively, instead of trying to do a little of everything at once.

Scheduling and planning also calm your nerves. It makes you feel more in control and organized, as compared to when you execute the tasks randomly, and they seem never-ending.

girl with pen in the mouth, thiking - plan to avoid stress

This also helps you to prioritize your work in order of importance and gives you a crystal clear idea about how important each task is.

Pledge to implement these effective strategies to reduce stress and make your experiences more worthwhile!

The best way to improve your habits and work style is always with practice. If you’re interested in a challenging and unconventional way to get this experience, check our exchange programs. 6 weeks can be all it takes to come back as a more mature and prepared professional 🙂

4 Time Management Tips to Boost Your Productivity

“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing” – Miles Davis.

In a fast-paced world that is fuelled by instant messages and social media, time is of the utmost importance and every minute counts. For this reason, an effective time management can result in better efficiency and productivity and enhance your workplace performance.

It helps you accomplish more in a shorter period of time. The additional time can be spent on valuable experiences, which opens up the horizons of learning opportunities and reduces stress.

Here are 4 time management tips that can help you save time and boost your productivity!

1. Establish a 15 Minutes Rule

The 15-minute rule calls for dividing your working hours into 15-minute sprints and allocating specific tasks within those time slots.

If you have six hours of work each day, you end up with 24 slots of  15-minutes each, and so on. A 15-minute time slot is taken because it’s long enough to get things done and short enough to easily fit it in your routine.

Men checking the time - time management

For example, when scheduling a meeting that would typically take an hour or more, start it about 15 minutes past an hour and end it when the hour ends. This theory was created by Workplace Performance expert Jason Womack. He states that people can accomplish in 45 minutes what they think they need 60 minutes for.

It compels you to be focused on the important things, and the extra 15 minutes can be utilized to complete other tasks!

2. Eliminate Distractions

Distractions creep into your day without you even noticing. The best way to deal with them is to identify them first, and then strategically avoid them.

Assess how you spend your time. You might notice how minor distractions – such as a chatty coworker – can eat hours of our valuable time every week!  

Distractions can also be very basic and unnoticeable, such as a cluttered desk or a phone that buzzes too loud whenever there’s a new text. Distracting, right?

Hence, identifying your distractions and minimizing them is a great way to get the most out of your time.

team working on laptops - tome management

3. Sort your priorities

Raking your tasks in the order of their priority is a great way to reduce the amount of time that is wasted when you mix up tasks of varying importance.

Go through your to-do list and sort tasks that are urgent or heavy in terms of workload. This helps you to take your time away from non-important tasks that you might have considered important otherwise.

This will slowly reduce your urgent priorities in number, and will also reduce the amount of stress and tension that you might face due to the same 🙂

notebook with a to do list - time management

4. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule!

Scheduling is, perhaps, the most effective way of time management.

You need to schedule your time, record that schedule (so that it can be followed) and actually stick to it! Determine the time of day when you are most productive and do the most important tasks at that time. This is a great way to improve your performance.

Scheduling gives you a clear direction and a certain amount of confidence because you know what you are doing and when you are doing it.

Don’t forget to keep some buffer time in your schedule for unexpected emergencies and add breaks at regular intervals. This will help you avoid mental and physical exhaustion.

calendar - time management

Time Management isn’t merely an impressive skill that you can present in your resume.

It has a wide applicability that spans even outside of your workplace and improves other aspects of your life! But like almost everything in life, you can only develop this skill with practice and discipline. The best way to learn is always with a hands-on experience.

If this blog helped you in any way or you know any more time management tips, let us know. We would love to hear from you 🙂

If you liked this, you may also like How to prepare for an internship interview!

Top 5 Parameters Recruiters Are Looking For

In the contemporary recruitment environment, competition is cutthroat. To get the attention from recruiters you need to show more than just the required qualifications, you need to be outstanding.

Social Media channels, for instance, have become one of the most common mediums for recruiters to select potential candidates.

They provide an insight into not just the technical qualifications, but also soft skills of a candidate. Besides, they reflect the personality of an individual and can, hence, make or break your career.

However, that’s not all.

From your résumé to performing well under pressure and being a team player, here are the top 5 parameters the recruiters look for before hiring a potential candidate!

1. An Impressive résumé

‘First impression is the last impression.’ This statement fits the brief well, as your résumé represents you and whatever you are willing to bring to the company. It plays a pivotal role in the process of a candidate’s hiring.

a cv together with a report

Presenting your qualifications in a striking manner is as important as your credentials and experience.

Hence, picking an appropriate template that is relevant to the industry or the field of specialization you’re applying in, is absolutely crucial. You must also keep in mind to regularly update your résumé to remain relevant in the market, and to get efficient and desired results.

2. Ambition, confidence, and credibility

A recruiter looks for these two indispensable qualities in a one-on-one interview.

Confidence plays a major part as it shows if you can put your skills and qualifications to practical use. Credibility plays an important role, as employers want people in their companies who can work their way up, and ensure that they grow with the company and vice versa.

team work

So, if you change your job annually, or biannually, red flags might go up.

When asked where you see yourself in 5 years or so, it’s best to say that you envision yourself at the company at a sustained successful track. Show that you have the ambition necessary to do great things for the company and build your own path to success.

3. The appropriate skills and training

Your résumé and personality can only help you if you have the relevant and required skills and training for the position you’re applying for.

In today’s competitive economy, you will struggle to find someone who will hire a candidate that needs too much training before they can start their job. Moreover, lack of experience also contributes to slower growth for the company, and recruiters do not want that!

Hence, before you apply, make sure you have the technical qualifications that actually make you a viable candidate, and boost your chances of getting selected.

4. Being a Team player

Even though you apply as an individual, one of the most important things that recruiters look for when they look for potential candidates for a job is a person’s ability to get along with others and work in a team.

work mates celebrating together

Hence, your social and communication skills are put to test, offline. You should be able to engage with a variety of people, and not just work, but also grow with them.

The employer would also want you to enjoy your workplace. Employees who have a sense of belonging in their workplace and with their fellow co-workers tend to happier and more productive.

5. A Good Online Presence, especially on Social Media

Social Media is one of the latest parameters that employers keep in mind while hiring, because of various reasons.

First, it showcases your personality outside of work, your likes and interests. This can aid them in deciding whether you’re good or bad for the company.

Second, it can be used to validate the credibility of your résumé.

It also helps them to establish whether you’re up-to-date with the latest issues and your stand on them.

social media icons - recruiters may check your social media

Hence, it is best advised to regularly update your social media and lock it to people who are not your friends. If you choose to keep it public, or if you have your employer as a connection, the ideal is to limit opinionated and extremist comments, which might hamper your chances of getting hired.

It is very essential, however, to have an online presence, as employers may not even consider someone who doesn’t have any social media presence at all.

You get a head start once you know what recruiters are actually looking for in potential candidates.

The awareness helps you to craft your resume and prepare for interviews, doing any research necessary. The secret is to set yourself apart from the crowds, build up some experience and enhance your CV!

Keep these things in mind, and you’ll definitely increase your chances of success 🙂

If you like this, check out “How to be brutally honest in your résumé and crack the deal”!

5 Out of the Box Career Options for You

Gone are the days when Engineering, Medical, Law, and Administration were the main career ways one picked after completing school.

As we approach the new decade, we can look back at the past and see how far we have come.

Thinking out of the box is really the mantra of today!

Odd, remarkable and unusual career decisions are staying for a long term.

Offbeat careers are getting to be popular step by step. A majority share of youthful people is deciding on these fascinating, challenging and new options, as a zeal to prove themselves.

painter – career out of the box

If sitting in an office workspace from 9 to 5 isn’t what you’re looking at, then presumably the following career alternatives may interest you.

The following are the 5 careers which are amusing to seek. If passion and power along with hard work is placed in can likewise bring success:

1. Environmentalist

The world environment is going much worse day by day, as we use our natural resources indiscriminately and fail to manage our waste.

Our total environmental conditions are deteriorating in everyday life. Yet, we do not concern ourselves to save us from different types of natural calamities and avoid the extinction of several types of animal species groups.

It’s true that only human are responsible for polluting environment, but if we have a little bit of concern then it will make us a positive thinker to save our environment.

woman holding a leaf - career in environment

Environmentalists are those who work for the protection, preservation, and conservation of the environment.

They deal with the conservation of land and water resources and protection of the environment from pollution and industrial wastes.

Globally the demand for environmentalists is estimated to be around 11 percent by 2020. As the need for the solutions related to environmental issues is increasing, the demand for environmentalists is increasing too.

2. Creative Photographer

Are you one of those people who’s famous for snapping pictures at parties? Or who enjoys capturing various shades of life through a lens?

If you want to earn a living using your creative side, but need more information, than this may be the best option for you.

A career in photography offers the following options:

– Photojournalism
– Fashion and advertising photography
– Nature and wildlife photography
– Event photography
– Still photography
– Travel photography

photohgrapher taking a picture - career out of the box

If you have a passion for photography, there’s no reason why you can’t make it your profession — be wise and practical and go for it!

3. Travel Writer

Wanna get paid for traveling? Travel blogging is a dream job for most of the people.

You get paid to travel and live at adventurous sites like Alaska, Sahara Desert, Ecuador, Brazil, Ghana and Zimbabwe etc and share stories.

Every day is different and exciting!

You’ll never get bored of this job. But, it’s not easy!

girl writing on a landscape - career out of the box

In all honesty, travel blogging comes with its challenges. Becoming a full-time travel blogger requires TREMENDOUS hard work and commitment. Besides putting in long hours, you need to keep at it for a long time that could be years too before you see any kind of return.

But is it worth it? Hell yeah!

4. Social Media Manager

Are you among the Social friendly people who are being taunted by their parents for being active throughout on Social Media?

Do you have a passion for operating Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and finding innovative ways to connect with people?

Then this is your type of job!

social media icons - career as social media manager

Being a Social Media manager goes beyond just posting updates to your company’s social media profiles. It also includes engaging with your audience and looking for new opportunities to increase reach and visibility. 

Great communication skills are also a must since you will have to do a lot of interaction every day. 

Evaluating, examining and adding to activities on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Google additionally, Pinterest and Instagram is a day by day undertaking for the manager.

5. Data Analyst

Every business collects data, whether it’s sales figures, market research, logistics, or transportation costs, but not everyone can actually understand what these numbers mean, correct?

A data analysts translate numbers into plain English. It’s a challenging and very much needed profession nowadays.

If you have a knack for picking apart collected data, drawing up actionable insights, and putting together pieces of the big data puzzle, check out the growth path of a data analyst.

You have to extract meaning from and interpret data – which requires methods from statistics and machine learning.

professionals analysing data - career out of the box

Do You Have What It Takes to think out of the box?

Jobs for creative people abound. Whether you’re agile with a camera or can write like Shakespeare, there’s a career field where you can excel. These are just 5 careers but there are thousands more and I wish I could put them all in this blog.

With new startups coming every day and the marketplace becoming more competitive by the day, the advancement of a person (and the company) rests on the ability to think and act creatively.

Apart from being creative, we should always be positive and learn from our failures. Even successful people that we admire have failed several times. But, they always learned 🙂

Do you know any other odd and amazing career? Tell us about it!! We’d love to know it 🙂

We at AIESEC have many projects with startups around the world which brings out the creativity in you.😊

If you’re interested and feel that you can contribute, check more about the program here.

If you like this post you may also like: “Great things never came from a comfort zone”


Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.