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How Can I Get Over Stage Fright Quickly and Easily?
Does the thought of being in front of a group of people make your stomach turn? When you think of yourself in the spotlight, all eyes on you, do you start to sweat and feel like you’re going to pass out?
Stage fright can affect even the most seasoned speaker. It can range from that little bit of anxiety just prior to stepping out on stage to throwing up at the mere thought of having all eyes on you.
So, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to be in front of a group of people, what can you do to get over the stage fright? Here’s three simple solutions:
Admit you have it. Saying up front that you’re nervous will actually make you feel better because it takes away the pressure of trying to hide it from the audience. By admitting that you’re human, your audience will connect with you and appreciate your honesty much more than if you try to act like it doesn’t bother you when it obviously does.
So what that you’re nervous? The fact that you’re on stage is one step further than a lot of people will go. So, congratulate yourself for being courageous enough to step up to the plate.
And, if you trip and stumble as you walk across the stage or your hands are visibly shaking, make a joke of it. Have a one-liner ready. You’ll make your audience laugh, gaining their attention and respect.
Rehearse. The best way to feel more comfortable in a stage setting is to practice. Go to the venue and rehearse where you’re going to stand and what the room looks like from that view. The more time you spend there, the less anxiety you’ll feel because it will become more comfortable; less foreign.
Notice your posture when you’re rehearsing. The way you stand has the ability to determine how confident you feel. Stand tall with your shoulders back and your head high. Oh yeah, don’t forget to smile.
In addition, rehearse the material you’re going to present. Say your speech over and over again until you know the information inside and out. Don’t get caught up in saying it the same way each time, either. A speech sounds more natural when shoot a little from the hip. Just make sure you hit the key points.
Embrace imperfection. Not only is perfection impossible, it’s boring. Have you ever heard a speaker screw up and use the wrong word or say the wrong thing? It was funny, right? But, it was also memorable, which is a huge benefit for anyone who finds themselves onstage.
Meditate. Nothing soothes fear and calms the body more than taking a few moments to collect your thoughts and relax your body. If you’re constantly bombarded by people or media outlets such as television, email or social media, it’s no wonder you would feel anxious.
Meditation can help on so many levels. And, you don’t have to achieve a deep state of meditation for relief either. Even a light level helps your fears melt away, leaving a sense of comfort and peace.
Prior to speaking, practice meditative breathing. Find a quiet spot and focus on the air as it enters and exits your body. Take deep breaths in and out, and focus on nothing else. If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. When you’re done, you’ll feel like you’ll be able to accomplish anything. And, you’ll be right!
Stage fright is, well, frightening. But, if you face your fears and go outside your comfort zone, you’ll feel satisfaction and pride in the fact that you took a risk. Who knows? You may like it!