7 Tricks to Overcome Stage Fright


Stage fright is an adrenaline wave of overwhelming nervousness which we experience before facing a live audience.  It is a common sensation of performance anxiety, speechlessness, panic attacks or restlessness that most of us encounter before Public Speaking. This feeling can serve as both the stimuli to to perform better or an agent to break our well-rehearsed performance.

Stage fright is not restricted to a stage performance only. However, any event which invites the attention of a group of people involves stage-fright. Performers like Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep and Sir Laurence Olivier admitted that they too had been the victims of stage fright themselves.. Nevertheless, they  converted it into a catalyst to motivate them in order to deliver their best performance. 

Artists, performers all over the world can feel those butterflies in their stomachs and those familiar goosebumps before coming in front of the public eye. If you are someone who suffers from stage fright, you are not alone, as more than 80% of people experience some form of stage fright or another. It is crucial to take control of this so called ghost before public speaking. You must not let your illusionary fears of embarrassment take toll over you and hamper your performance. This anxiety, if not controlled can not only make you miserable but also can be a huge obstacle in your career. 

Here are 7 quick tricks to nip such hurdles from the buds and and boost your confidence. These tricks will help you to mould stage fright into an impetus to perform better:



  1. Your Strengths make you stronger!

Fear originates from lack of self-confidence which is a compulsory prerequisite to overcome stage-fright. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. If you are someone who suffers from panic attacks before going amidst the public-eye, try to put in your effort and time to recognise what your strengths are. Try to strengthen your strengths, so as to stand out from the rest and be recognised because of that one best quality that outshines you from others. Then, work on converting your weaknesses into your strengths. 
It is important to do so because when you start recognising your own strengths and start working on your weaknesses, you begin to feel confident about yourself. You start becoming comfortable with the sense of perception of your own personality in the audience’s mind. This infuses self-confidence within you which works wonders in calming you down when you are right their back-stage waiting for your turn to speak. Work towards your goal and try to enjoy the journey as well because no matter what the outcome is, you are always a winner, as you learn something new in the end.



2. Mind, Shut up!

Human mind has a tendency to imagine the worst fears during critical situations. It starts deluding you to believe that you are going to mess it up. Hence, it becomes very crucial to not be enslaved by such illusions and take control of your mind. Let not yourself be carried away with a trail of negative imaginary scenarios.

Whenever you feel that meaningless illusions are trying to overwhelm you, the first thing you should do is to say to yourself, “you can do it.” again and again. You have to take control of your mind and it can only be done when you shut the doors to such illusions by talking to yourself. 

If you are still nervous and feel that your morale is dipping, then sit back and make a call to your family members, friends or to anyone who motivates you. Feel their positivity and faith in you. They will  keep you motivated when you yourself fail to do so. They will take your mind away from the snares of negativity that you imagine for yourself.



3.Breath in! Breath out!

Adrenaline is a hormone that our body secretes which accelerates our heartbeats and is responsible for the fight-or-flight responses. Breathing deeply regulates the production of this hormone in the body during the moments of anxiety and stress. All the great speakers, seconds before their performance, dedicate a few moments to themselves to relax and calm their racing heart before stepping up onto the stage.

Ever seen a person standing quietly, eyes closed and breathing deeply in and out before delivering a speech? This is exactly what they are doing. Breathing deeply in and out is a form of medicine which slides your restlessness away. It helps you take control of your bubbling emotions and enable you to go on stage without any hesitation.



4.Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is a release of emotions. Whenever we get anxious, we tighten ourselves. We clench our jaw, tense our shoulders and squeeze our arms to our sides or in front of us. In other words, we make our body stiff.

However, it is really important to relax your body both mentally as well as physically before going on to the stage. It is a scientific fact that laughing requires maximum number of muscular movements. It is an activity which relaxes maximum most number of muscles at once. Laughing and smiling continuously, few moments before the performance provides respite in the critical situations. It will decrease your stress level and also balance your anxiety and nervousness. 

Hence, try to inculcate the habit of laughing. It may seem absurd but when you laugh and make others laugh with you, you will feel the chaos in your heart declining.



5.Victory!

Imagine the feeling of having delivered a successful speech. Imagine receiving a huge applause from your audience accompanied with a pleasant smile on their faces. How does it feel? Do you feel satisfied with yourself? 

Instead of imagining worst-case scenarios try to imagine and feel the Victory. This will help you to develop confidence and a positive zeal to put the best foot forward. When you think more and more of where and how you want to be, you automatically begin to move closer to that ideal version you intend to become.

If you are unable to imagine victory, then play a little mental trick with your mind. As the famous motivational speaker Mel Robbins suggest, think of an “anchor thought” for your mind. An anchor thought is a thought so positive and powerful that takes you away from all your anxiety. It is a thought that gives you happiness. For instance, if your kids are the cause of all your happiness, imagine them playing. Try to see the vision of them playing and channelise your emotions into a feeling of excitement of seeing them as soon as you go home. This helps you to calm down and experience happiness and confidence even in the most stressful moments. Always have an anchor thought.



6.Familiarize yourself

Familiarizing yourself with the place and instruments you’re about to use, saves time and energy which would have otherwise been utilized in getting comfortable in the new atmosphere.

This familiarization also involves getting an idea of the audience beforehand. Try to have an estimate of things like age group of your audience or your audience’s expectations. This will help you to frame your content better as per your audience’s wishes and you are bound to receive a positive feedback then.



7.Talk! Don't present

Consider Public speaking not as an activity where you have to speak on some monotonous mugged up lines but as an activity where you have to speak your heart out. Consider the audience as your friends who absolutely adore your ideas and that is why they’ve called you to express it to them.

Developing this ideology will help you in being more confident about yourself and will make your experience at Public Speaking more comfortable.
Stage fright is very common. Every nine out of ten people experience it. Some let it overpower them, some use it to their own advantage. The real success of public speaking lies in how you are able to control this fear and go on to the stage to deliver your best performance. 

- Kashish Goel

Source: https://mindgrad.com/free-reads/f/7-tricks-to-overcome-stage-fright


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7 Tricks to Overcome Stage Fright 7 Tricks to Overcome Stage Fright Reviewed by EMN on March 10, 2019 Rating: 5

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