Everyone gets nervous before going up on stage at some point or another. Millions of people suffer from performance anxiety, also known as stage fright. It’s a well-known fact that most people would rather catch the flu than have to perform in front of an audience.
Anxiety about doing poorly can have a chilling effect on your professional life and your freedom to pursue your passions. What’s worse is that performance anxiety erodes an individual’s sense of self-worth and confidence. Even if you can’t completely get rid of performance anxiety, there are many things you can do to control your feelings and feel less stressed.
Having all the eyeballs on you could be nerve-wracking. The body’s “fight-or-flight” system is activated while addressing an audience. Thus, the symptoms of stage fright are similar to those of being in real danger. Here we will look to address the fundamental question of – how to overcome stage fright. But first, let’s discuss symptoms.
Anxiety before a performance frequently manifests as:
- Breathlessness and an erratically beating heart
- Discomfort in the mouth and throat, mostly dryness or lumpy-ness
- Involuntary trembling of voice, hands, and lips.
- Hot and sweaty palms
- The feeling of nausea and abdominal pain
- Temporary defects in vision
Why Do People Get Nervous Before An Event?
Anxiety about performing in front of an audience or giving a speech is what causes performance anxiety. Answering the question of how to overcome stage fright entails first knowing and embracing one’s anxieties and weaknesses, as well as letting go of the drive to repeatedly prove oneself.
Keep in mind that you are not alone in making mistakes and that no one expects you to be flawless. The next stage is to figure out how to reinterpret whatever negative feelings you have about conducting a public performance. Achieving this is not as complicated as you would assume.
Performance Anxiety Triggers
This section will help you to identify the tools that will eventually improve your public speaking skills. Here are the foremost things that are causing you anxiety and effective solutions that will help you to overcome them.
1. Being awkward when there are lots of people watching
Multiple people testify, “I’m fine speaking to small groups, but when there’s a big crowd, I get terrified,” when asked about their public speaking experience. To overcome this issue we can implement the following strategies –
- Keep in mind that even the person you’re having a one-on-one conversation with is part of a broader audience.
- Try to treat your conversations casually rather than being increasingly formal. You will be at your best when you try this.
2. Concern about being Scared
How concerned are you about coming across as scared? A large number of presenters do. Consequently, it is typical to dread that individuals may think you don’t understand the topic if they pick up you are anxious. Nevertheless, there is no logical connection between the two. When a speaker is visibly afraid, should we condemn their professionalism or feel sad for them? The audience is more inclined to empathize with you than to reject you.
3. Worry about other people’s perceptions of you
The unrequited love message here is that no one genuinely shows concern about you when you’re on stage. They came to listen to you and perhaps take something away from your discussion or lecture. That’s why they’re seeking to maximize their time here in a constructive manner. When an audience member witnesses a speaker’s mistake during a presentation, they all feel horrible for them. So the public is supporting you and cheering for you to succeed!
4. History of failure
A tinge of self-doubt was planted when you experienced stage fright for the very first time. There is no need for things to go wrong, the way they did in the distant past. If you are well-informed and prepared this time around then things will automatically fall into place. As an alternative, you should design a strategy for accomplishing your said goals and call it Plan B.
5. Poor or insufficient planning
Concerning this point, the chances of attaining success diminish without executing the crucial groundwork that allows you to learn about your target audience. Not being well-prepared can make public speakers nervous. In any case, nothing boosts assurance quite like actual readiness.
6. Dissatisfaction with your work.
Yes, this is a reasonable concern. The good news is that, although it is one of the top causes, it is also one of the easiest to address. You have every right to be disturbed by your lack of oratory skills. However, anger may work as a powerful spur to action. Don’t put off speech therapy any longer. Seeking assistance from a certified expert may do wonders for your self-esteem. The impact should be a notable upsurge in your impulse to spark conversations.
7. Discomfort with one’s physical form.
When we’re around our friends, our bodies feel at ease, but when we’re in a large group, we feel awkward and self-conscious. Pay particular attention to your posture, posture changes, gestures, and actions when in a comfortable position. In front of larger audiences, duplicate that natural flow. To make a powerful impression on your audience, consider the following pointers on how to use your body language effectively when giving a speech:
8. Control Your Breathing Technique
Unless you’ve taken voice or acting lessons, you probably have no idea how to breathe properly while speaking. Speaking in front of an audience requires a greater volume of air than what is needed for “vegetative breathing.” If you want to keep your voice steady until you reach the ultimate point of your thinking, you’ll need to manage your exhale as well. All of this is achieved via the diaphragmatic breathing technique. It also helps tremendously in modulating a rapid pulse. Consult a personality development coach to help you out with the technique.
9. Comparison of oneself to others
Never do that! Avoid the temptation to become a “great” public speaker. It’s vital to keep your audience engaged in what you have to say. “The nicest thing is that no one else in all of existence could explain it as beautifully as you could.”, “We couldn’t have asked for a better speaker, and here you are.” this is one of the many affirmations you should always tell yourself in a healthy frequency.
Counselling for Stage Fright
If you’re frightened of public speaking yet want to give it your best, consider these few tips.
- Be prepared by continually honing your talents via practice.
- Consume as little sugar and caffeine as possible before addressing the audience. Consume a nutritious lunch a couple of hours before your performance to give yourself energy and keep from feeling hungry. Choosing a meal that is low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates is a terrific option.
- Never allow your issues to stand in the way of providing delight for your audience. Imagine the cheering and laughing of the crowd as you smile and chuckle to yourself.
- Stop worrying about horrible outcomes and start planning for the best. Instead, think about the positives. Think about how amazing it would feel if you fulfilled your goals.
- Whenever possible, try to keep a positive outlook on your own life.
- When your mind starts to wander negatively, consider adopting relaxation methods like biofeedback, meditation, or even just paying attention to your breathing to help you restore control.
- You can do whatever makes you feel good—go for a stroll, stretch your muscles, etc.—to reduce your discomfort before taking the stage.
- Greet the audience by smiling. Maintain complete focus and treat them like friends.
- Keep things honest and true to who you are.
Reducing Pre-Performance Nervousness
You can also apply other mental methods to feel more at ease with your performance. For example:
- If you want to find the most receptive listeners, just scan the audience for the friendliest faces.
- Laughing may be a stress reliever, so do it whenever you can.
- Dress to impress. If you look beautiful, you feel fantastic.
A reduction in performance anxiety should be projected after using these suggestions. If these techniques don’t work, then consult a therapist or counsellor who is comfortable working with anxiety difficulties. More intense therapies may be required to help you answer the question about how to overcome stage fright .
Facing your concerns and learning how to manage or minimize them may be a profoundly pleasant experience. You may find that you perform better as well as feel better about yourself when you practice healthy tricks and techniques to boost your personality and confidence. Get in touch with the Orator Academy team today to gain more knowledge about this concept.