This is a guest post by Beth Martel, a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian.
She blogs at Healthy Recharge.
Does your mouth go dry or your voice goes shaky while you are on stage? Do you hear your heart pounding right in your ears? Do your hands tremble and your palms get sweaty?
If yes, you have a phobia. Don’t freak out, because this is the most common phobia that every 9/10 people have. It is pretty much of a natural thing to have stage fright, but it all depends on you to either let it stay natural and get over it as soon as you’re on stage, or exaggerate it to a height where you might end up puking or even fainting right in front of the audience.
Following are simple techniques to not let stage fright take hold of you and overcoming it eventually:
The scariest thing you could do is to go on stage without knowing what you are going to talk about.
You could end up babbling or falling completely silent and blank. To avoid such a situation you need practice. Prepare the content in advance and read it out loud.
You do not only need to practice the material but prepare your movements and the hand gestures in advance too by standing in front of the mirror and formulating how you would control your body language.
Keep yourself positive and believe in yourself.
Instead of thinking about all the possibilities of what might go wrong, think of the audience as your friends and tell yourself that they are no better than you and they all go through the same feeling as you do.
Build a tempting image in your mind where you succeed due to an amazing presentation that you just gave. And accept your fear as natural and do not fret over it too much. It goes away as soon as you are on stage and in your happy bubble.
Don’t get impatient for your turn to come up, that will only make you panic even more. Just try to stay calm and patient, talk to the members in the audience just to distract your attention and when they are going to share the mutual feelings, you might start feeling better.
Moreover, listen to the others speaking on stage and notice the possible mistakes that they are making so that you can avoid those when it is your turn.
4. Preceding day’s to-do list.
When a speech or a presentation is a long time ahead, instead of letting your thoughts go wild and scary, and your panic go out of control, you need to make a to-do list and keep yourself from fretting over it.
Following are the few things you should do before the big day:
- Relax your body and mind by meditation, yoga, deep breathing and other relaxation exercises.
- Eat healthy, avoid caffeine and sugar as much as you can.
- Talk to a friend who is a pro at public speaking, and you might learn tips and feel comforted after she tells you that she being all confident and a pro gets stage fright too which is natural.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
5. Performance time.
When it is the big day, you need to keep your nerves calm and it is the time that decides how your speech is going to turn out. You cannot just be reluctant about it in any way.
Here are a few tips that will make you end up descending from the stage with a huge smile and a heart filled with a feeling of accomplishment:
- Look yourself in the mirror the moment you wake up and give a huge smile and tell yourself that you can and you will do it.
- Distract yourself from fretting too much or overthinking about it. Watch a comedy show to laugh your worries off or maybe listen to some inspirational songs that give you a boost.
- Reach the place as early as possible so that you do not end up being called on stage while you have not even adjusted in the environment yet.
- When on stage, instead of being conscious of every move you make, try to stay natural and act as confident as you can and don’t let people know that you are nervous in any way.
- Choose a few people who you would want to look at while speaking instead of letting your gaze wander around and leaving you baffled.
- And lastly, just BE YOURSELF! It is OKAY to make mistakes because nobody is perfect.
Your turn now. How do you deal with stage fright?