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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Featured photo credit: Will Marlow via flickr.com