When I was asked to give a talk a few years ago, I felt plenty of anxiety. Nonetheless, I challenged myself to memorize my speech. This meant that I spent a lot of time going over the language, and I practiced until I knew forward and backward what I was going to say.
You know what? That was probably the best speech I’ve ever given.
When it was time for me to get up on stage, I was nervous, but I also was prepared. I knew that speech cold, and I didn’t have to rely on any notecards that I could have dropped or shuffled in the wrong order.
Even better, I felt confident. I could make eye contact with the audience, and I could see that they were actually engaging with what I was saying.