Do you get nervous thinking about public speaking? Do you shy away from the idea of getting up in front of a room and speaking, even if it’s just your family or a small group of friends? If so, you’re not alone. Countless people suffer from stage fright or social anxiety that manifests itself into fear of public speaking. This can lead to missing out on opportunities or avoiding places where you have to speak in public. However, there are many different ways you can learn to overcome this fear and give powerful presentations that will earn you respect and admiration. In this article, I have Outline 5 Ways To Overcome Stage Fright
It seems like the most obvious remedy for stage fright is to rehearse. When you’re giving a speech, the more comfortable you are with your material, the less chance there will be a mistake or awkward silence. Rehearse until it feels natural.
- Practice in front of family and friends. Keep rehearsing until the presentation starts feeling natural. Practice in front of a mirror to see what hand gestures come naturally to you and which ones feel forced. Record yourself practicing so you can make sure your emotions are engaging enough, but not too over-the-top. Even if it’s just in your head, practice as much as possible until you start knowing your material forward and backward (and every way in between).
- Rehearse your introduction and conclusion
- Practice out loud
2. Use relaxation exercises
Relaxation exercises are another way of combatting stage fright. By meditating, doing deep breathing exercises, repeating positive affirmations, or engaging in any other activity that brings peace and calmness to your body and mind, you can quieten the feelings of fear and anxiety that often accompany the performance. I find meditation particularly useful because it allows me to slow down my racing thoughts and focus on the moment. In a 2012 study conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, participants who meditated for three months experienced an increase in brain volume in areas associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and compassion. Meditation can also help performers be more open-minded on stage. In her book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity (1992), author Julia Cameron discusses how meditation allows artists to develop “a sense of receptivity so that the next step presents itself.
3. Visualize yourself doing a perfect performance.
Practice visualization to alleviate stage fright. Just as a pilot might go through pre-flight routines in his mind, imagine yourself doing the perfect performance. Visualize yourself feeling comfortable on stage and relaxed in front of the audience, and take note of how it feels. Take baby steps: Start by picturing a five-minute portion of your performance that is easy for you and then slowly work your way up to the more difficult parts. Use all five senses to make these mental exercises feel as realistic as possible.
4. Focus on the audience
- Take a moment to look out at your audience and consider them as individuals who want to learn from you. They are not there to judge you, they’re actually rooting for you to succeed. If that doesn’t give you some comfort, think about the importance of what you have to share with them. They need this information; that makes it easier for them to focus on their needs rather than your shortcomings.
- Focus on the first few people in the room, but then expand your attention outward so that all of the people appear blurry to you. The room will still seem full, but now your only real focus is on those first few folks and sharing what you know with them.
- Instead of thinking about yourself, try thinking about what it is that the audience needs from you so that they can become better at their jobs or find clarity on something they need help with. What can you do for these people while presenting? How can they benefit?
5. Remember that you are prepared!!
You have put in the hard work.
The number of times you’ve practiced and prepared is countless. You’ve spent hours honing your craft, perfecting every detail. You know every word to say, every note to hit, and you’re ready to show off what you can do.
You have done everything that you can do to be ready for this moment.
There is no aspect you haven’t accounted for, nothing that will take you by surprise in the slightest. You are prepared for any curveballs that may be thrown at you because failure is not an option here today.
This is your opportunity to show everyone what you are capable of doing and how far all of your practice has gotten you. This is your chance to prove all the naysayers wrong and step into the spotlight as a leading force in your field or specialty area – whether it’s singing in front of a live audience or giving a presentation at work, this is the time where everything comes together and shines through, showing who you really are beneath all those layers of doubt and uncertainty that hold us back from reaching our true potentials.
You will succeed!
Thanks for reading! I hope the above helps you if you are struggling to speak in public or are just generally self-conscious when it comes to speaking. Also, if you have some tips of your own, please feel free to share in the comments section