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Own the Room: Business Presentations that Persuade, Engage, and Get Results by Peter Desberg, Deborah Shames, David Booth

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6Stage Fright

I was delivering a presentation on stage fright to a peer group of psychology professors at a national conference and asked how many get nervous when they speak in front of a group. About 40 percent raised their hands. These professors make their living lecturing to college students. I was surprised at the response, so I suggested an experiment. I told them that I would randomly select three volunteers to stand up in front of the assembled group and introduce themselves. To increase their anxiety, I said I wanted more than “Hi, my name is Peter, and I teach at Cal State University, specializing in stage fright.” I told them that their introduction should be so compelling that at least three other professors would approach them afterward ...

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