Thrive Over Time by Making Self-Care a Priority

One day, a hare was making fun of the tortoise for being so slow.

“Do you ever get anywhere?” he asked with a mocking laugh.

“Yes,” replied the tortoise, “and I get there sooner than you think. I’ll run you a race to prove it.”

With great amusement, the hare agreed. The hare took off like a shot and was soon out of sight. Meanwhile, the tortoise plugged away diligently. Soon, the hare grew distracted with the race and lay down for a nap. While he slept, the tortoise slowly passed him and plodded on. The hare woke with a start and ran swiftly to the finish line, but he could not overtake the tortoise in time.

The moral of the story? “Plain plodding people, we often shall find, will leave hasty confident people behind.”

The Strain of 2020

The nature of many people is to go fast and hard for as long as possible.

But this approach to life can (quite literally!) be a killer. As Aesop’s fable reminds us, enduring over the long haul brings fruitful, sometimes unexpected results. But approaching life as a distance race takes intentional self-care, often a busy person’s lowest priority.

The time to change this trend couldn’t be more important. Gallup recently found that 2020 was officially the most stressful year in recent history, with a record-high 40% of adults worldwide saying they experienced a lot of stress the previous day. This five-percentage-point jump from 2019 represents 190 million more people globally who experienced a lot of stress. Over 75% of U.S. adults report physical or emotional stress symptoms (such as headaches, tiredness, and changed sleeping patterns). And work-related stress costs $190 billion in annual U.S. healthcare costs!

Where Stress Meets Rest

Do you need to make time for “me” time?

Initially, this involves focused thought to define what you need. Do you desire more quality relationships? Better sleep? More time for worship or outdoor exercise? Perhaps music or meaningful hobbies need more space in your life.

Next, you must consciously push back on stressors and make time for self-care. Here are some practical examples:

Add Order and Finesse with Versatile Binding Solutions

Your home wouldn’t be complete without the paint, and print projects also come alive when you add beautiful finishes.

Binding is a necessary step for compiling multi-page documents, and you have many options to work with. Here is a quick reference guide of several formats that might be a good fit for your project.

Case Binding

Case binding attaches a hardboard book cover to a bound set of pages.

Case binding is timeless, classy, and typically requires around 60 pages (approximately 1/8 inch) of content. Since the hardcover makes the binding so sturdy, case binding is ideal for documents that will be handled frequently and need to hold up over time. While this method offers immense durability, it is usually the most time-consuming and expensive process.

In case binding, using an adhesively bound – or hinged – cover with a flexible joint can allow your book to open without breaking the spine. (Hinged covers are scored 1/8 inch from the spine, so books can open more easily.)

Coil Binding

Coil binding uses a piece of spiraled plastic or wire (looped through a series of punched holes) to hold the finished book together.

Also called spiral binding, this format allows a book to be laid flat when opened or even folded over onto itself. This is a wonderful binding option for reports, instruction manuals, cookbooks, calendars, and other items that need both flexibility and the ability to stay open. Spiraled binding comes in over 60 different colors that can be matched to your cover art or brand colors, so the project really pops.

Alternatives include wire-o binding (which uses a double set of wire loops instead of a single spiral) or even several gorgeous fabric options, like those used in Japanese ribbon binding.

Perfect Binding

Perfect binds secure papers together at the spine using glue that attaches them to a wraparound cover.

This is the preferred binding method for most paperback books because perfect binding is a lightweight, cost-effective option for large volume booklets. A variation is lay-flat binding, which allows publications to open completely flat across a centerfold, so images can run across both halves of the spread with minimal disruption.

Plastic Comb Binding

Plastic comb binding is the most common of the punch and bind styles.

Comb-bound documents are cost-efficient and easy to edit and can be reused as many times as you need. Combs come in many different colors and are capable of binding even very thick documents. And they can be customized! Add your document title, company name, or quick reference handle to the comb spine to make your binding more professional.

If resilience is a priority, remember the teeth of a plastic comb tend to break over time.

Post Binding

This mechanical binding process inserts metal or plastic posts through punched or drilled holes in pages to hold them together.

One advantage of post binding is it allows pages to be added (and the post extended) as the size of a publication increases. And the screws or spikes used bring a sleek, polished feel to your piece.

An alternative to post binding is Velo binding, which applies heat to two plastic binding strips, so the spine cannot be opened and re-closed without a Velobind machine. Velo binding cannot be tampered with or easily photocopied, so this is an excellent option for sensitive legal or financial documents.

Binding methods vary and can be uniquely tailored to the design specifications of your project. Add order and finesse with this beautiful finishing touch.

3 Ways to Create Pictures that Pop

Have you ever heard the expression, “a picture paints a thousand words?”

It’s true. While words can limit our ability to effectively communicate ideas, even a split-second glance at an image can convey volumes of information. Whether you’re a marketer or design specialist, it is important to employ tactics that add power and clarity to your communication.

Creating Dynamic Images with a Singular Focus

Experienced graphic artists have many tricks of the trade. Some like to blur the background of an image to draw central focus to one element. Others add texture to flat graphics by adding bevels, text shadows, or blended layers.

But on an even more conceptual level, you can communicate boldly and clearly with signs and symbols. Looking to simplify – while adding complexity? Here three techniques you can experiment with in print marketing to amplify your visual messages:

Signs

On a basic level, signs are the combination of a word and a picture to create meaning.

What comes to your mind when you see a bright yellow triangle, an image of a dog with a slash through it, or a photo of a distressed person clutching their neck with two hands? Signs convey simple, universal ideas that viewers can understand immediately. Even colors themselves can have inherent meaning!

Like a cross and skull poison symbol, signs can stop people in their tracks. Signs are especially helpful when communicating with mass audiences at a glance.

Typograms

A typogram refers to the deliberate use of typography to express an idea visually.

For example, the word “half” displayed with only the top half of each letter showing might imply an eraser effect. The word “volleyball” with the “o” popping out above the text brings a playful, spirited message. Want inspiration? Check out this 365-day challenge, where Daniel Carlmatz created a typographic logo for every day of the year!

Typograms use basic visual enforcement to add subtext to the words you display. Logos, taglines, or custom envelopes are a great place to put typograms to work.

Symbolic Imagery

While signs communicate a very straightforward message, many images have connotative meanings with far more complexity.

While a house denotes a place where you live, a home has far greater connotations (like family, security, and love). A subject, the objects surrounding it, and the editing techniques we use can all play a role in the cognitive messages we bring. Consider these examples:

  • Cropping a woman’s face to only the eye can make viewers wonder what she is thinking
  • Cropping a man’s body to only his head and shoulders may suggest he’s leaning in to hear more
  • Inverting colors may insinuate a flashback scene or a memory
  • Increasing contrast between the back and foregrounds might suggest the object behind a person is about to surprise them
  • Larger contrasts or color saturation can elicit feelings or arousal or cheerfulness
  • Increased sepia tones can give an aged or vintage look (like a photo carried in wallet)

Add Clarity and Complexity to Communicate on Many Different Levels

While language can limit our ideas, an image communicates on many different levels. Proficient designers know the more clarity or complexity you bring to your print pieces, the greater impact you will have on your target audience.

Use signs, typograms, and symbolic imagery to add emotional weight, to increase the efficiency of your communication, and achieve a greater return from your marketing dollars.

Creating a Substantial Visual Impact Through Corporate Responsibility Campaigns

In a post-pandemic world, marketers are tasked with a unique balancing act: helping people return to reality while remaining sensitive to the challenges of this era.

Today’s consumers appreciate businesses that prioritize people over products. Research by consumer authority Mintel has shown that as many as 56% of Americans will stop buying from brands they believe are unethical. Additionally, in a global survey, 91% of consumers reported they were likely to switch to a brand that supports a good cause, given similar price and quality.

Corporate responsibility, or cause marketing, occurs when a company’s promotional campaign has a dual purpose of increasing profitability while bettering society. Or, more colloquially: cause marketing occurs when a brand does well by doing good.

Visual campaigns are potent, and they are even more compelling when combined with a social initiative of some sort. Here are three dynamic examples.

Cadbury’s “Donate Your Words” Campaign

In the United Kingdom, 225,000 older people often go a week without speaking to anyone.

During the pronounced isolation of COVID-19, Cadbury chocolates launched an initiative to benefit Age UK, the country’s leading charity dedicated to providing companionship, advice, and support for older individuals.

In a stark visual, Cadbury removed all lettering from the front of its dark purple packaging and replaced it with a blank tag: instead of a price, there was a pledge to talk to an older person. Blank pledge tags were also available for customers who wanted to write personalized pledges. Shoppers could take any display item to the till, but instead of paying money they could pledge to talk to an older person.

Cadbury donated its chocolate and challenged a nation to donate its words.

American Express and Small Business Saturday

Did you know that the original founder of Small Business Saturday was American Express?

Without a non-profit partner, American Express embraced entire communities by encouraging consumers to shop local and support the mom and pop stores in their own neighborhoods (presumably while using an American Express card to do so!).

Launched in 2010, local profits leaped from $14.3 billion in 2014 to $19.8 billion in 2020. Key to this success was visual marketing; to equip local businesses, American Express designed creative pieces like signage, social posts, scavenger hunt maps, recipe sheets, and themed passports to support their “Neighborhood Champions”—men and women that vowed to formally celebrate Small Business Saturday in their areas.

A Meaningful, Memorable Message

Consumers want to see positive change in the world and when your brand can be part of it, the emotional impact of your marketing will ratchet up.

Choose your cause wisely, listen to your audience, and lean in to the power of print marketing to put your message front and center.

How to Prepare Large-Format Projects for Print

When you want to flaunt your finest, large-format printing can make an oversized impact!

Large-format printing includes products printed at a length of 18-100 inches with a minimum width of 60 inches. Some of the most popular items include posters, window graphics, yard signs, vehicle wraps, vinyl banners, media backdrops, and more.

While large-scale graphics are stunning, these projects require special preparation, so these images remain vibrant and sharp when stretched to larger-than-life proportions.

If you plan to go BIG, here are some factors to consider.

Communicate from the Start

When diving in on a large-scale printing, create a detailed brief and use this to speak to your printer as early as possible.

Try to include everything from the size, design, materials, and deadlines. Your printer will work with you to be sure your ideas are achievable, and the timeline is realistic.

Set Appropriate Image Specifications

As you connect with a printer, be sure your images match the required specifications.

Pixels per inch (or PPI) is the standard measurement for image resolution. PPI refers to the density of pixels per square inch of space they occupy. The higher the PPI, the sharper your image will appear as a large-format graphic. As a general rule, most commercially printed materials require at least 300 PPI.

The viewing distance required for your project can be a factor in selecting the appropriate specs.

Select Clear and Legible Fonts

Since most large-format products are meant to be viewed from a distance, fonts are a big deal.

Usually, sans-serif fonts are easier to read than script or serif fonts. Fonts that are too bold or have wide spacing between letters are also very difficult to read when viewed from afar. To check your font’s legibility, take a few steps back from your computer and evaluate from a different perspective.

Limit the number of fonts you use, and don’t crowd the design!

Choose Your File Formats

There are generally two file types in large-format printing: EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) and TIFF (Tagged Image File Format).

EPS – such as .eps or .ai files – can contain both text and graphics and are a better option for vector images, which use algorithms to increase an image size (rather than pixels), which preserve image quality when scaled up.

TIFF files are best for high-quality graphics, with color depths ranging from 1 to 24 bits. They can also support special Adobe features like layering and transparency.

Not sure which format is best? Your printer can help and may even have software presets they can send you in advance. No matter which file type you select, don’t flatten the original file before sending it to print. Keep an editable file to make the design and printing process easier!

Get Color Samples

Did you know there are two primary ways of displaying colors?

Anything designed for a screen – such as digital banners or a website – uses an RGB (red, green, blue) color model, while printed materials use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). RGB looks great on a screen but can look dull when printed, so you can save yourself extra hassle by converting your design file color to CMYK before you begin. If you haven’t, double-check with your printer about how to proceed from where you’re at.

Amplify Your Voice

Large-format printing offers huge promotional potential for your business.

But it can be a big investment, which is why it’s important to get things right the first time. Whatever your large-format printing needs, our experienced team can help! Whether you’re looking to build brand identity or bring curb appeal to your business, upgrade your customer experience with magnificent large-scale visuals.

Add Unity to Your Design with Clever Repetitive Elements

Do you ever find pleasure in the chiming of a grandfather clock or in honking geese as they migrate for the winter?

Repetition is therapeutic.

Rituals provide structure and something to hold on to, and they free us from the tyranny of choices and chaos. Repetition can help complicated pieces of music, movies, or books reveal the depths of their richness. And repetition in design adds consistency, beauty, and unity.

Strong designs repeat some aspect or element throughout the entire piece. The recurring element may be a bold font, a thick line, a snappy bullet icon, a repeating color or page layout, or anything that a reader will visually recognize.

From business cards to complex multi-page booklets, subtle repetition is a visual cue that ties every piece together. Want to be more intentional in your repetitive elements? Here are some options to try:

Headlines and Subheads

All text starts somewhere, and text banners are a perfect way to add graphic unity.

Are all the headlines in your newsletter 14-point Times Bold? How about investing in a very bold sans serif and making all your heads something like 16-point Mikado Ultra? Take the repetition that’s already part of the project and elevate it, making it stronger and more dynamic.

This adds beauty to the page and anchors readers in a framework of ideas.

Rule Bars or Page Numbers

When creating multi-page publications, it should be perfectly obvious that pages 2 and 12 are part of the same piece.

Beyond similar layouts, adding simple elements like rule bars and page numbers can bring harmony to your design. Try a thick, heavy rule bar on the top of each page and a narrow bar of the same color at the bottom. Label your pages with more than just numbers; design these digits with heavy fonts, fun shadow boxes or slashes, or print them vertically by rotating them 90 degrees.

Recurring Shapes

Patterns are a pleasing way to add visual continuity to flyers, reports, or even product packaging. Here are three ideas:

  1. If you choose a branch as one of your central graphics, you might add smaller leaves throughout the document (as column markers, page number outlines, or bullet icons, for example).
  2. Add colored waves behind the text that repeat in variations of your color palette or in repeating style (like a freeform eggplant shape) throughout the document.
  3. Splatter your text across a subtle background of grid and dot patterns.

Playful Characters or Color Matching

Not everything needs to be serious!

Have a little fun by adding repetitive elements that have nothing to do with your page’s purpose. Add funky bird caricatures, petroglyph characters, or a toss of confetti. Borrow the colors in these images and match or complement them with handles in your text.

Feel free to add something completely new simply for the purpose of repetition!

Consistency Counts

Don’t underestimate the power of the visual interest of your pages.

The repetition of your work will eliminate chaos and add beauty to your work. Think of repetition as consistency, but push those existing patterns a bit farther. Can you turn some of your repetitive elements into a part of the conscious design strategy? Take a unifying graphic and create spinoffs of this concept to bring subtle accents to each page.

Sound time-consuming? It’s worth the effort! Repetition matters because when a piece looks more interesting, it is more likely to be read.

4 Intelligent Ways to Combine Print and Digital Marketing

Imagine a college campus on a warm fall day, as freshmen are moving into the dorms for the first time.

There are loads of students buzzing around and getting settled. As they unpack and get their bearings in a new community, many realize they’ve forgotten a lamp or shelf to make their dorm room a bit cozier. No problem! A strategic, targeted digital ad whisks across their screen on move-in day.

Two days later, a mailed piece is sent featuring lamps, rugs, and closet accessories. This venue’s campaign (a combination of digital and print marketing) snags interest in a fleeting moment then follows this digital hook with a more robust mailed piece.

The Successful Marriage of Digital and Print

Print marketing is powerful. Digital marketing is powerful. When you combine them… well, the result is dynamic.

Want to create a more strategic relationship between your print and digital marketing efforts? Here are four strategies to build momentum:

1. Create Distinct Online Landing Pages

Online landing pages can be created specifically for promotion through your print ad (for example, see Uber’s landing page targeting new riders here).

While your website homepage typically offers an introduction to your business, a promotional landing page is slightly different. A landing page:

–Is designed to receive traffic from specific sources

–Prompts visitors to take one well-defined action

–Stays focused on a single topic or offer

–Omits or downplays site navigation options

Beyond using narrow landing pages to evaluate your print marketing, you can also record general web traffic during a campaign to note whether a spike in visits may indicate a particular ad’s effectiveness.

2. Use Digital Opt-ins for Direct Mail

Instead of asking someone to sign up for your email campaign the next time they visit your website, why not ask them to sign up for a direct mail newsletter?

Unlike email (which can easily go straight to a junk folder), a direct mail campaign engages people through tactile, memorable, physical marketing pieces. There’s something special about receiving a thoughtful newsletter or meandering through a well-designed catalog.

Instead of opting toward email, build stronger connections with your customers outside the screen.

3. Combine In-Store and Social Displays

Live events provide great opportunities to build strong relationships with customers – particularly in our experience-driven culture.

At your next event, distribute valuable coupons or great giveaway items after advertising through social media ahead of time. Post fun selfie displays (like clever photobooths or imaginative backgrounds) that people can post using event-specific hashtags. Or give gift cards and freebies to those who check in at your kiosk and follow you on social media.

4. Add QR Codes to Your Direct Mail, Brochures, and Displays

Today QR Codes (those funny-looking square boxes that look like over-sized bar codes) have many uses, including marketing, product labeling, ticketing, and more.

QR codes can be used as a compact way to deliver loads of information, and you can use one in any situation where you want to send people to a specific website. Add QR codes to your brochures, direct mail, business cards, in-store displays, or even to customized client birthday cards.

This lead generator can be used to push a new promotion, link to an instructional video, solicit reviews, incentivize subscription renewals, or prompt people to download your app.

Customers on the Move

As people hop between on- and offline worlds, businesses must provide an increasingly cohesive, personalized experience.

Combining your print and digital marketing can build momentum while providing users a streamlined customer experience. Employ this customer-oriented strategy to ensure your brand receives a multi-fold return on your marketing investment.

Stand Tall with 6 Sharp Embossing Techniques

Have you ever run your hand over an antique, textured wallpaper?

With its authentic sense of depth and detail, you almost can’t help but touch it. The raised relief is as appealing to your imagination as it is to your fingertips.

Embossing has a similar effect. Embossing and debossing are two print techniques used to add texture to a design. An embossed pattern is raised against the background, while a debossed pattern is sunken into the material’s surface (but might protrude somewhat on the reverse side). These popular finishing techniques – used for business cards, menus, invitations, foil stickers, notepads, and more – are ideal for bringing a fresh, contemporary look.

Take Center Stage

Embossing elevates your design from the background and can be used to create geometric patterns, add borders, or produce a custom seal for product packaging.

The texture and sculptural quality that embossing creates makes for a memorable user experience. Add elegance and stateliness to your next project with one of these beautiful techniques:

1. Blind Embossing

Blind embossing uses custom-made dies to create a raised surface according to the design.

Blind embossing refers to a stamped design without metallic leaf or ink (like plain textured letters with a page), giving a base-relief effect. One way to make blind embossing stand out even more is to use textured paper. Since the area around the embossing will be pressed smooth, this creates more of a contrast.

2. Combination Embossing

As its name suggests, this type of die combines multiple effects (like embossing and foil stamping) into one process.

The combination die has a cutting edge around the perimeter to cleanly break the excess foil away from the embossed area. Given the unbeatable finish and fine detail of this element, it is a natural choice when printing elegant crests, fancy logos, or intricate type for business cards, letterheads,

3. Single-Level Embossing

This process uses a die that changes the surface of the paper at only one level.

Since the die needed for this kind of embossing is simple, it is the most affordable embossing option.

4. Multi-Level Embossing

This process uses a die with several distinct levels to create a sculptured impression or a more detailed texture.

Multi-level embossing kicks things up a notch by changing the surface of the paper at several planes. This makes the technique popular for multi-dimensional shapes, landscapes, or images with unique details (such as leaves or feathers).

5. Sculptured Die

This kind of die requires custom hand tooling to create levels and details for an emboss that resembles a bas-relief sculpture, a figure that is raised a few inches from a flat background to give a three-dimensional effect.

Like a piece of metal leaping off the paper, the effect is striking and lifelike. While sculptured embossing is more expensive, it is absolutely gorgeous for creating custom pictures, shapes, 3D logos, faces, animals, or landscapes.

Because this die requires someone to create it by hand – usually based on an image provided – this method is more expensive.

6. Bevel-Edge Dies

Want to add sophistication to your project?

Beveled dies bring a softened, refined look to your shapes and letters, adding a curve or edge to each character (typically at 30 to 60 degrees). The broader the angle, the greater the illusion of depth.

Create a Timeless Treasure

New trends take shape every day, and you can make a bold statement with existing techniques that give your print materials a sleek twist.

While embossing was originally found mostly in personalized stationery, today, raised elements can be used in envelope flaps, business cards, packaging, hang tags, and more. Great designs mix the old and the new to create timeless print pieces your clients will love!

Glamorize Your Products with Illustrative Package Designs

Natural Life is a retailer focusing on women’s Bohemian clothes, accessories, and gifts.

Its founder, Patti Hughes, says the business was inspired by her mom, who ran a crafting studio out of the family basement, and was rarely seen without sawdust in her hair or a paintbrush behind her ear.

Modeled after global artisan markets, Natural Life believes its products are more than just commodities. The brand calls these products “treasures” because they are things you stumble upon – things you just can’t resist – while you are out and about. Whether it’s moving artwork or a special surprise for that one-of-a-kind friend, Natural Life inspires people to “give and live happy.”

Natural Life’s Boho Bandeaus are one of its most irresistible items. Bandeaus can be styled as face masks, hair bandanas, scrunchies, halter tops, armbands, ponytail holders, and more. While Boho Bandeaus come in gorgeous floral, tie-dye, and camo prints, the packaging nearly trumps the product that is wrapped around it. Made of rustic, recyclable brown paperboard, the cardboard backer is beaded with playful polka dots, whimsical fonts, and quirky flowers. At the bottom, hand-sketched caricatures display between eight and twelve different girls, each wearing the bandeau as a different accessory or style.

While the bandeaus are pretty, the packaging steals the spotlight as it demonstrates the fun women of all kinds can have with the bandeaus. The hand-sketched illustrations are coupled with an alluring hashtag (How do you ? to wear? #bohobandeau), tempting prospects with social proof so they will “join the tribe” and make the purchase!

Steal the Spotlight with Free-Form Designs

Packaging design is a great way to glamorize a product and attract consumers’ attention.

Many people will judge a product by its packaging before buying it, and alluring illustrations can spark intrigue in your first-time buyers. Illustrations build a bridge in shared stories, cohesiveness, and collective emotions.

Need ideas? Here’s just a few ways to use illustrations in your packaging:

  • Illustrations of a product in action
  • Graphics of vintage cars, bicycles, or clocks
  • Landscapes representing the culture or heritage of your product
  • Quirky or interactive coffee sleeves for disposable cups
  • Varying patterns of labels for products marketed as a set
  • Pop-open packaging, like boxes that unfold to display a three or four-panel illustration inside
  • A graphic that weaves the actual product into part of its design (like these white rawhide sticks displayed as teeth in a dog’s mouth)
  • Illustrations that incorporate the shape of a container into the larger design theme (like this sardine tin, which doubles as a bright yellow bus crammed with fish)
  • Interactive labels that tell a story, like the “Living Labels” of 19 Crimes (viewers download an app, hover their smart device camera in front of the label, and hear the stories of true criminals come to life as 3D characters recount their side of the story)

Build a Bridge to Your Customers

Your print packaging represents your identity, so ride high in style with illustrated custom labels.

Whether it’s eye-catching boxes, personalized product labels, or hang tags for specials and sales, smart packaging will command attention and make your message sing. Attach your brand to cardboard, glass, fabric, stone, and everything in-between!

5 Strategies to Overcome Nerves in Public Speaking

From Abraham Lincoln to Winston Churchill, some of the world’s greatest leaders had one thing in common: the fear of public speaking.

Glossophobia, or speech anxiety, affects 77 percent of the population at some level. This can range from sweating and an accelerated heart rate to dizziness, nausea, or a “fight or flight” response.

As a shift to remote working has become more prevalent, more communication is taking place online rather than in-person. And video chatting can make many people (who aren’t normally nervous) more anxious whenever they speak up.

Want to conquer your butterflies or gain confidence when you’re on the big stage? Here are five tips from the public speaking experts:

1. Practice Aloud in Advance

The best way to reduce your anxiety is to rehearse until you feel comfortable, and you will really settle into your message if you share it aloud several times before the big day.

Practice by yourself, before a mirror, in front of a video camera, or even with a friend, colleague, or coach who will give you constructive feedback.

2. Be at Your Best Physically and Mentally

In the turmoil of speaking preparation, this key to optimal performance can get lost in the noise.

Get enough rest. Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol. And give yourself quiet time if you need it (i.e., if you’re an introvert), or mix-and-mingle time to get your juices flowing (if you’re an extrovert). Look out for yourself BEFORE you speak to ensure the best outcome when you do.

3. Breathe

Breathing from your stomach muscles, not your chest, naturally calms the nervous system.

When you want to reset yourself internally, take a few deep breaths before and even during your presentation. As you inhale, say to yourself, “I am . . .” As you exhale, say, “relaaaaaaaaaxed.”

4. Don’t Be Nervous About Your Nervousness

Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, who was legendary for his live concert performances, once observed that if he felt completely relaxed before a show, he wouldn’t perform as well.

Speakers who lack confidence often feel nervous. Then they feel anxious about the fact that they’re nervous, which compounds the anxiety. Remember, nervousness is just your adrenaline flowing. It’s a form of energy. Bruce Springsteen doesn’t get nervous about his nerves – instead, he channels this into excitement and power on stage. Successful speakers know how to make adrenaline work for them and turn nervousness into enthusiasm, engagement, and charisma.

It’s okay to have butterflies. Make the energy work for you!

5. Practice an “Others First” Mindset

During public speaking, you feel “all eyes” watching you.

This can be painfully vulnerable, like a caveman exposed in daylight. While you may want to shrink back, calm your anxiety by focusing on your desire to encourage others. Sarah Gershman, President of Green Room Speakers, says this:

“The key to disarming our organic panic button is to turn the focus away from ourselves — away from whether we will mess up or whether the audience will like us — and toward helping the audience. Studies have shown that . . . showing kindness and generosity to others has been shown to activate the vagus nerve, which has the power to calm the fight-or-flight response. When we are kind to others, we feel calmer and less stressed. The same principle applies in public speaking. When we approach speaking with a spirit of generosity, we counteract the sensation of being under attack and start to feel less nervous.”