Do you suffer from the jitters before you have to speak in public?
Who doesn't? Over 60% of Americans report suffering from stage fright symptoms, ranging from debilitating nausea to sweaty palms, shaking knees and dry mouth. Over my years as a storyteller I have learned techniques from others to keep myself calm and actually anticipating each performance.
Here are a few suggestions:
Sip room-temperature water. Avoid caffeine-containing liquids (tea, coffee, cola) and alcohol--these dehydrate. Avoid milk products--these may make your mouth feel "gummy." Bite the tip of your tongue. Lightly coat your teeth with Vaseline to keep your lips from sticking to them.
Do some vocal warm-up exercises. Hum. I like to do "mouth music" as a way of warming up my voice and preparing my throat. It's fun!
Dust your hands lightly with powder or corn starch before your presentation. Carry a hanky or tissue.
Take a quick walk, or do some isometric exercises to warm up.
Gesture! When your hands are in motion, the shaking is less noticeable.
Eat lightly before your presentation.
Deep breathing will help slow it down.
Move around a little. Take a few steps toward your audience, pause, then move a few steps to one side pause, then to the other.
Red Splotches on Face and Neck:
Wear red or pink colors. Wear high-necked clothes, turtleneck shirts.
Smile! And keep talking.
Need more information? This title is older, but still relevant:
Talk Power: How to Speak Without Fear by Natalie H. Rogers. NY: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1982.
Wikipedia offers a comprehensive article with links to more information
The Anxiety Coach includes tips, background information and more
Advanced Public Speaking Institute's website is quick-reading bullet lists of suggestions to overcome stage fright.