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03/27/2013 09:20 am ET Updated Mar 16, 2015

Stay Calm! How To Perform Under Pressure

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By Marie Proeller Hueston

Do you freeze up under pressure? Experts share their best tips for staying composed when the floor is all yours.

You know when you're about to say something and suddenly your mind goes completely blank? (Hours later, in a bittersweet stroke of genius, you'll think of the perfect words.) We've all been there: Brain freeze is a natural result of the body's fight-or-flight response to anxiety-inducing situations. The sympathetic nervous system triggers a hormonal cascade in the brain that temporarily suspends your ability to organize your thoughts, leaving you flustered. For advice on performing under pressure, whether you're in a private conversation or a roomful of people, we went to the pros -- five folks who make a living thinking on their feet (including a law professor, an improv coach, and a TV show host). Here, their smooth-talking secrets.

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How To Perform Under Pressure

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