give a presentationCertified Career Coach, Hallie Crawford was honored to have her article, “10 Ways to Make Giving a Presentation Feel Less Like a Nightmare” featured on Yahoo! Finance.

You straighten out your shirt, get a sip of water, take a deep breath and try to calm your shaky hands. The program coordinator introduces you, and it’s show time. You stand up and try to start but no words come out. Then you wake up.

Most of us have experienced this performance-related nightmare or something like it. In high school or college, it was centered around tests or studying. After that, nightmares about giving a presentation to a client or something similar can — at worst — wake us up at night or make it hard for us to fall asleep.

Unfortunately for many business professionals, giving a presentation can feel like a nightmare and cause anxiety and stress. Among employed professionals, more than one in five said that they would do anything to avoid giving a presentation, even faking an illness, according a study by Prezi, a presentation platform.

Even if fear of speaking isn’t an issue, you may feel that you don’t really know how to give a great presentation. In the survey, 70 percent of participants said that presentation skills are critical to career success. If you fall into either category — avoiding presentations like the plague or feeling like your communication skills could be improved — here are 10 ways you can improve.