Stage fright has been part of the human condition since the first Neanderthal stood up from the campfire to give an after-dinner speech, only to find his mouth was dry.

Nerves can be a particular problem in sommelier competitions, where sommeliers must somehow go from being hospitality professionals to actors performing in front of an audience.

And the most high-stakes competition of them all, the tri-annual ASI Best Sommelier of the World competition, is about to take place in Paris. Although competitors are top professionals who have spent months preparing, anxiety is likely to affect even the best of them.

One way to deal with it is to use the strategies of other people who have faced these same challenges: athletes and performers.

This article first appeared on the Star Wine List website. You can read the full article here.

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