Some people are natural-born performers. They thrive in front of an audience, comfortable and confident and relaxed.

For most of us, being the center of attention takes some getting used to. And some people get so nervous they can hardly speak. Dry mouth. Wet palms. Red face. Maybe that’s familiar to you?

When speaking is scary, you just want to avoid being at the front of the room. You find yourself hiding, and you can miss out on opportunities to be hired or promoted or chosen.

Stage fright actually makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. All those eyeballs staring at you? If you were in the wild, you’d be prey.

But you’re in a conference room. Or a classroom. Or a hotel meeting room. You have a chance to shine. And nervousness will get in the way. What to do about it?

A lot of experts will tell you to just stop it. I say there’s a better approach.

Stage Fright? Don't Kill the Butterflies, Catherine Johns