Orator Academy: Overcoming stage fright
Do you belong to that very small percentage of people who cherish the opportunity to speak in front of an audience? The chances of finding people who love public speaking are far less compared to the people who fear it with every cell in their body.
If you are wondering how to overcome stage fright, you need to understand that before curbing your stage fright, you need to fully grasp the idea of fear and what is causing it.
Understanding stage fear
Fear is the body’s natural response to any threatening situation. The body is programmed to enter a ‘fight or flight mode’ as soon as it finds itself in dangerous situations. The problem with this stimulus is that sometimes we may not truly be in a life-threatening situation, but due to several external reasons, your brain gets convinced that your life is potentially in danger, and a quick response is needed to resolve the issue. This is precisely what happens when you are up on stage and about to address an audience.
Stage fright occurs in varying degrees. It can be a short period of fear to a nauseating feeling that inhibits every activity. It can prevent a person from doing most normal activities. How will you enjoy your day if the fear of speaking has you in its clutches?
Moreover, stage fright and performance anxiety can cause a severe reduction in self-esteem and confidence. By the time the performance starts, the person might be completely consumed with negative thoughts. Training on how to overcome stage fright can be a good way to curb this fear.
When you get on a stage, all the attention is on you. Everyone can see you. For someone who hates eyeballs on them, this could be a nightmare. How the body manifests its fear can be through a series of changes. There are many symptoms associated with stage fright, such as:
- Increased pulse
- Inability to breathe or rapid breathing
- Dry mouth and throat, making it difficult to speak
- Quivering voice
- Blurred vision
- Gut issues
- Excessive sweating
In layman’s terms, stage fright is a combination of two or more of these symptoms that a person experiences when they have to face an audience. Understating the symptoms can help the person to work on it so that the issue is mitigated in time. Reducing the symptoms is one way to overcome the fear. There are other tried and tested methods for a person to overcome this fear factor. To understand better how to overcome stage fright, the best option is to enroll in courses for professional assistance.
Practicing your way to perfection
Have you noticed how you get over things that used to intimidate you the more you expose yourself to them? You can use this same tool when you need to overcome stage fright. If something scares you, put yourself in those circumstances more to accustom your body to it. Let the situation convince you that you need not fear it so much. For someone wondering how to overcome stage fright, one of the basic things they can do is to practise speaking on a stage.
Mastering this art requires practice and effort. Get your speech right to perfection and never let go of any chance to speak that comes your way. Speak often in front of a diverse audience and eventually, you will be able to overcome your fear for good.
Shift your focus to feel good
Fear is when your body thinks you are in danger. But if you are smiling and laughing your heart out, your brain will convince your body that you are safe. When the fear starts creeping in, try focusing on happy thoughts. If there are known people around you, focus on a good moment.
This would help you take your mind off the fear. If you find something interesting or funny happening near you, give it your full attention. Laugh if you want. Smile if you feel like it. All these would elevate your mood and push out anxious thoughts from your mind.
If there is nothing happening around you, simply close your eyes. Think of something that gives you pleasure. Think of your loved ones and the happy times you have spent laughing and cheering. If you do not wish to completely rule out the thoughts of speaking, you don’t have to do it. Instead, think about a supportive audience who is laughing and enjoying your speech. Imagine them engaged in your speech, supporting you endlessly. This will put you in a good mood.
Don’t forget to eat
Did you know that food has an effect on your mood? Have healthy meals before a speech to give you enough energy to perform. A low-energy situation will only worsen your anxiety. If you are still confused about how to overcome stage fright, skipping meals, and starving yourself is not one method.
Humans have a common habit of thinking about the worst imaginable situation while facing any adversity. But when you are anxious, you already have a train of unnecessary thoughts. Adding on to it would be a colossal blunder. If you wish to overcome your fear, there should be effective efforts. You will have to purposefully give your brain the direction to happy thoughts.
Keeping a positive mind amidst a sea of dark thoughts may not be the easiest thing in the world. But make conscious efforts to think positively. This will help you shift your focus to good things and not on failures and other unhappy events. Think about what makes you happy.
Frequently imagining all the things that can go wrong when you are on stage would only make you more anxious. Planting the seeds for self-doubt just before a performance can directly spur uncontrolled negative thoughts. To avoid this, focusing on the shift from negative thoughts to positive ones can be effective. Enrolling in training classes to get over your fear can help you to teach how to shift your focus.
While being in a tense situation, your body will demand more oxygen, as it spends a ton of energy forming intrusive thoughts and causing fear. Take frequent slow breaths and even meditate for a minute. This will help relax your body and mind, keeping unchecked thoughts away. You can also get a hold of anxiety through meditation.
Relaxation techniques are available in abundance. Choose one that works out best for you. For most people, stage fright is experienced right before getting up on stage. After the speech starts, they can be in their own zone, giving the best performance of their life. But passing the first hurdle is a task that needs to be taken seriously. Even during practice sessions of your speech, take deep breaths to train your mind.
The bottom line
Anxiety cannot cause much damage if you learn to control it right from the beginning. Making conscious efforts is crucial here. If you feel like you need extra help, training classes on how to overcome stage fright can be of immense use.
Orator Academy is a one-stop destination for all your public speaking-related shortcomings. They can offer training classes by professionals on how to overcome stage fright, to help people who suffer tremendously because of performance anxiety.
These classes would help an individual learn different techniques to become better presenters. Get your seats booked at the earliest and kick-start the beginning of becoming a confident orator without stage fear!