Suppose you’ve been trying get on a radio talk show for
months, and the producer finally calls back and extends an

This is a great opportunity! But all of a sudden, you feel
like a King Kong-sized gorilla has just super-glued both
hairy feet to the back of your neck.

Oh, you know your stuff. That’s not the problem.

The problem is stagefright.

Unfortunately, there’s no sure cure for halophobia, which is
the medical name for stage fright.

However, there are some fairly simple techniques you can use
to reduce the stress that comes with it. Even better, once
you’ve learned these techniques, you’ll find them helpful
whether you’re addressing an audience of one, a hundred, a
thousand, or a million.

1. Understand that some nervousness is actually good
Once you gain a little confidence, the same adrenalin that
causes anxiety can energize you with enthusiasm–an
essential element of almost any successful interview.

2. Visualize success. See yourself feeling comfortable and
confident during your interview. Imagine everyone
congratulating you and praising your performance afterward.
The more positive pictures you send to your subconscious
mind, the more relaxed your conscious mind will feel when
you’re doing it for real.

3. Avoid thinking about bad speaking experiences in the past
The more you remember those negative images, the more likely
they are to repeat themselves.

4. Remember some important basics. Arrive early, and avoid
cold drinks, especially ice water, just before you speak.

5. Comfort yourself in the knowledge that even veteran
speakers get stage fright. I emceed a dinner several years
ago in which the late Tom Landry, coach of the Dallas
Cowboys, gave the keynote address. From my seat next to him
at the podium, I could see his palms sweating and his hands
trembling slightly as he read from notes he’d written on
index cards. His voice cracked several times.

Keep in mind, Tom Landry not only had to cope with the
likes of Ray Nitschke and Mean Joe Green on Sunday
afternoons, but he piloted a bomber in World War II. If
someone who has done what Tom Landry has done can get
stagefright, should any of the rest of us feel ashamed?

Even ‘pros’ get anxious sometimes.

As many times I’ve I’ve been on TV (30 years, about
18,000 newscasts, sportscasts or other miscellaneous
appearances), I still get nervous whenever someone’s
interviewing me instead of the other way around.

When that happens, I try to remember what my wife told me a
couple of years ago.

‘Sweetheart,’ she said. ‘Don’t worry about going in there
and trying to be suave or glib or funny.

(pause for effect here)

Just be yourself.’


But it’s good advice for anyone. It might not get the monkey
completely off your back, but he’ll begin to feel a little
more like Bonzo than King Kong.

Get a free report detailing how to use dozens of news ‘hot
buttons’ by subscribing to George McKenzie’s free ezine,
‘Get Free Publicity.’ Go to Publicity Goldmine

George has more than 30 years experience as an award-winning
radio and TV journalist. His work has been featured on ABC,

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