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5 Ways To Overcome Stage Fright

5 Ways To Overcome Stage Fright

Any artist or performer can feel those butterflies in their stomachs and those very familiar goose bumps. Performance anxiety, feeling of speechlessness, more commonly referred to as stage fright, is very common to many people. Stage fright doesn’t exactly need to involve a stage. Any event which will give you the attention of a group of people, can lead to a fear of public speaking. And needless to say, this phobia can be corrected with some efforts. It is very important to deal with this ghost of public speaking which is residing deep within you. Do not ever try to avoid situations where you are required to go on stage or else it’s going to aggravate your fear even more. Just face it. So, here are 5 ways to overcome stage fright.

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    1. Relax your mind and body.

    Eat your favorite food, stretch a few muscles, take deep breaths, listen to your favorite songs, talk to your best friend or even try winking at random people. In short, do anything which will entertain you and take your mind off the unnecessary anxiety. See, the point to remember is that being a little anxious is all right, even good. But try keeping this below a threshold.

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      2. Practice, Practice and Practice.

      Practice in front of your family, friends, in front of a mirror and even in empty auditoriums, so that you get used to the idea of performing in front of of your audience. Practice till you almost memorize it. This will give you confidence and also give you scope to find out and correct the flaws in your own performance. If it’s a speech, presentation or debate, just understand the concept you are going to explain thoroughly(so that you are able to answer any questions from the audience), or if it’s a play or drama, get into the character (so that you forget your own fears and worries).

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        3. Connect to your audience.

        Don’t be scared and tell people that you are worried and have an absolute fear of stage. This will do nothing but lower your self-confidence. Instead, start focusing on the needs and expectations of your audience. You will be motivated when you realize that you will actually be able to reach out to your audience. You will feel like burning or disappearing from the stage if you start thinking that you being there makes no difference whatsoever. So, focus your attention on the people who are going to listen to you.

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          4. Accept your fears.

          Do not try to suppress the feeling that you are worried about going on stage. Just accept it, deal with it, hold your head high, do not fiddle with microphone or your notes and cool down. Be confident that it’s only for a few minutes and then you are going to give the performance of your life time. Give it your best shot. Visualize your triumphant outcome. Nothing can go wrong. Even if it does, just smile and move on.

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            5. Lead a healthy lifestyle.

            Eat fruits everyday and exercise properly. Try participating in group discussions. Talk to people at work and gym instead of creating a shell around you. Do yoga and meditation regularly. Go out with friends on trips. Start a hobby. Doing all these will improve your self-esteem and hopefully, you will never get a stage fright. If possible, avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar totally. They will simply make you more nervous.

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              Featured photo credit: Will Marlow via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on August 4, 2020

              The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

              The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

              No!

              It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

              But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

              What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

              But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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              1. Value Your Time

              Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

              2. Know Your Priorities

              Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

              For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

              3. Practice Saying No

              Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

              4. Don’t Apologize

              A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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              5. Stop Being Nice

              Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

              Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

              6. Say No to Your Boss

              Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

              But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

              7. Pre-Empting

              It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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              “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

              8. Get Back to You

              Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

              “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

              At least you gave it some consideration.

              9. Maybe Later

              If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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              “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

              Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

              10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

              This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

              Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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              Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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