How to Overcome Stage Fright
Imagine standing at the tribune, a couple of seconds before you actually start delivering your graduation speech. Think of the moment when you stand behind the mic, just before the first line of the song you want to perform for the crowd.
How does it feel?
Are you full of happy excitement or feel like running away (if only you could do it on those shaky legs)?
In case it makes you feel any better – John Lennon used to throw up before his live performances. You’re not alone in the struggle.
It’s Not About You
One of the most common reasons of a stage anxiety is worrying what the audience is going to think about you.
Well, here’s a fun fact:
They don’t really care about your personality.
Most of the time people are worried only about themselves. You are to engage, educate or entertain your audience.
If they are satisfied with what they get, they won’t judge the one who delivers it too hard. Thus, concentrate on the material you’re going to present instead of focusing on your personality.
Practice makes perfect. The rule applies to almost every sphere of our lives, right? Public speaking is not an exception.
Training helps your brain to reduce the number of unknown variables it has to deal with when the due date comes.
This allows you to focus on your story, entertaining your reader and making the whole thing much more fun. If memorizing a speech is a challenge for you, take a look at our infographics on how to memorize a speech.
Send Good Vibes
Perception is everything, isn’t it?
That’s why thinking of your audience as of a group of friendly, interested people, rather than a bunch of guys, ready to destroy you with criticism, will be of a great help.
Smile and remember about eye contact. Avoid gazing at people, though: diverting your eyes to look at your notes or fix the appliances makes you look human, which is certainly good.
We like the things we can relate to. Thus, looking not-so-perfect at times might even be a good thing.
Body language can shape our behavior, the way we make decisions and feel about ourselves. Power posing is a great tool to achieve these results. The study shows, that standing in a high-power pose for about 2 minutes may seriously boost your confidence and reduce stress.
What are these poses?
Think of a Wonder Woman or a Superman signature positions.
Fake it till you make it. Or, actually, fake it until you become it.
Sounding human and looking natural is crucial for successful delivery and impressing your listeners. That’s why you don’t want to learn every single word by heart, when it comes to delivering a speech.
You surely are to know what goes after what and have some cards or the outline in front of your eyes. Memorizing every single word will make you sound robotic.
If you are having difficulties with writing a speech, consider our speech-writing help.
If you are going to sing, act or dance in public – situation is a bit different. Here you’ll seek for a certain degree of mechanization, where you know all the moves, cues or direction of the melody.
Nevertheless, leaving some space for your soul and inspiration will help you and your audience enjoy the event much more.
Breathing in certain patterns may be a very powerful relaxation technique. First, it has a positive impact onto your physical state:
- blood pressure stabilize
- your brain gets that desired portion of oxygen
- the muscles relax…
All in all, you feel far more calm and confident.
Second, you simply focus your attention on an activity, not on your being anxious and stressed out. Profit!
Lots of people simply can’t function without their favorite brew. In fact, it’s kind of a ritual, that has to be comforting and energizing. That is certainly true.
Another fact here is that caffeine is a strong stimulant:
- it accelerates your heart rates
- dehydrates the vocal chord
- and can even make you sweat more intensively
Add the general nervousness and get a cocktail of being overly jumpy, sweaty and squeaky. Try saving your cuppa as a reward for success. In case that just doesn’t work for you – stick to your regular amount, and don’t add any extra portions of caffeine before the actual event.
Do a couple of yoga poses. Choose the level of difficulty that suits you best and focus on maintaining that balance, breathing and keeping muscles nice and tight. If you’re a fan of yoga already – you know how awesome it is. In case you’re not quite into that – give it a shot! You don’t have to make yoga your daily routine, but it may work just fine for stressful situations, just like your public performance.
Now, take a breath. Your presentation, speech, play or concert will go great. Especially, with our tips. Shine bright! You’ll nail it.