Stage fright is a fear that almost everyone in the world will experience at some point in their life. It affects people who are nervous due to various reasons and can cause doubts about performance. However, what exactly is stage fright and how can you push through it and face your fear? Continue reading to learn more about overcoming your stage fright.
What Is Stage Fright?
Stage fright, also known as performance anxiety is any nervousness before or during an appearance before an audience. If you have stage fright you may be experiencing many things such as:
- Rapidly breathing
- Dry mouth
- Sweaty hands
- Vision changes
- Racing pulse
Most people actually experience stage fright whenever they give a performance, presentation or are publicly speaking. Even professional actors occasionally have stage fright.
Overcoming Your Stage Fright
Know The Material
Whether you are presenting a PowerPoint to a small group or class, giving a speech in front of hundreds of people, or even performing in front of thousands of people, knowing the material can help you overcome your stage fright. This is either knowing the topic of your presentation or speech well enough to answer questions or it could be memorizing the lyrics to the songs you will perform.
Prepare For Your Performance
Practicing and preparing yourself, physically and mentally is another great tip to overcome your stage fright. This differs from simply knowing the material due to the fact that knowing the lyrics will do you no good if you have never practiced them before.
Speeches are similar, as reading your speech out loud in the mirror or to a friend can help you find any mistakes that you did not notice before. Lifehack.org recommends that you take this one step further by dressing up when you rehearse. Check out one of our previous articles to learn more about Preparing Your Voice For A Speech.
Now that you are out there and on stage the most important thing that you can do to overcome your stage fright is to relax. When nervous, people tend to breath a lot faster and this can throw you off. Just take a deep breath and clear your mind of any negative thoughts that you may have. This is a great way to calm your nerves and allow you to continue.
Harvard Business School showed a way to cope with the jitters that can come with stage fright. They say that you should pretend to be excited about what you are doing. The researchers believe that this may be more effective than simply taking a deep breath and telling yourself to calm down.
Picture The Best Outcome
The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America (ADAA) states to “visualize your success.” You can do this by “focusing on your strengths and ability to handle challenging situations.” Picturing the best outcome can also give you a positive outlook on things.
The reason why you want to try and keep the negative thoughts out is if you are constantly picturing the worst outcome, chances are you will be too focused on it and it might end up coming true. If things do go wrong, such as a failing microphone, try and make up for it by projecting your voice.
As much as you think that rushing through your speech or hurrying off-stage after your final song will be the best, it may not be. Take the time, start slow and give yourself time to get comfortable. You should also give the audience time to understand what you are saying if you are giving a speech or presentation.
One way to overcome your stage fright, while also having a positive lookout is to plan something fun for after your presentation, speech or performance. This could be hanging out with friends, watching your favorite movie, or even going to an after-party and having fun.
Overcoming your stage fright is not as bad as it may seem. Stage fright affects just about everyone. This makes it okay if you need to take time to take care of it as there is a chance that your audience will be understanding.
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