Overcoming Stage Fright
Standing on stage, looking at the crowd is very intimidating. Many people get apprehensive when they have to speak in front of a crowd, but you don’t have to suffer from it. You can overcome your fear and get better at being on stage so that you don’t have to give up the job that requires you to speak or perform in front of people. You have to address the reasons behind your fear and move forward. Here are some tips to help you.
Shift Your Focus
What is your purpose in being on stage? You are providing something of value to the audience. They came to your performance to see you. Don’t focus on your fear, but on the message you are going to give them. When you know your material, you can have confidence in your time on stage.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Remember the old joke about how to get to Carnegie Hall? No matter what type of stage you’re on, it’s practice that gives you confidence. Reading your speech in front of a mirror doesn’t count. If you can get a few minutes on the stage where you’ll be performing, it’s worth the time to feel comfortable in the space.
Slow Down Your Performance
When you’re nervous, you speak more quickly. In doing so, it’s easy to get tongue-tied or forget lines. When practicing, use a metronome to help you find a better cadence in your speech. Force yourself to speak a little slower but still at a workable pace. Your audience will better understand you when you speak with authority and less speed so that they can keep up with what you are saying.
Unplug Before a Performance
Arrive in plenty of time to de-stress before you go on stage. Don’t let a lot of people invade your space to interrupt your mental preparation. Turn off your smartphone and other electronics so that you can focus on your notes. It’s good to have a ritual that gets your head in the right space before you perform.
Remember To Be Gracious to Yourself
Mistakes happen. When you trip up on stage, recover graciously. The audience may not even be aware that you skipped a line or miscued an actor. Keep going as best you can. If something doesn’t work right, such as your PowerPoint presentation, apologize and take a deep breath to decide your best course of action. Learn from your mistakes, instead of worrying about the impact. Forgive yourself, and move on. Although stage fright is very real, you can overcome your anxiety.
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With a passion for perfectly executed parties, Carl writes about event planning and the wedding industry. You may read more on his livejournal blog.