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Stage Fear: How to Overcome It in 5 Easy Steps

Public speaking is the ultimate form of making an impact using words. Sure, you can write an article or essay for people to read. But speaking can influence people more and change their perspectives if done properly.

How can you make an impact if every time you get on stage, anxiousness gets the better of you? If you have been wondering how to overcome stage fear, good training and practice can help you out. Before understanding how to overcome stage fear, let us understand what stage fear is.

Understanding stage fear

Stage fear is categorized as anxiety that affects people who find speaking in front of people difficult. The name stage fright should not be confused with just stages. The fear of any kind of performance in front of an audience comes from stage fright. Some of the activities covered under the term are:

  • Fear of presentations
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Performance anxiety
  • Speaking to customer service
  • Making toasts
  • Speaking up in formal meetings
  • Class presentations
  • Interviews

According to many surveys conducted by mental health organizations, stage fright is quite common in people of all ages. It can develop right from childhood or later in life. Sometimes it may even be related to some sort of traumatic experience associated with stages.

If you think stage fright is experienced by people who rarely get on stage, you would be surprised to know that many proficient speakers are people with a fear of stages. They have come a long way in overcoming their fear of becoming good speakers. If you wish to know how to overcome stage fear, you should also be aware of the reasons for stage fear.

Causes and symptoms of stage fear

Stage fright can happen in a lot of scenarios, as described above. But how can you characterize it? The symptoms of stage fear are:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Numbness
  • Dry mouth or tight throat
  • Frequent heartbeats
  • Excessive sweating
  • Paranoia

All these symptoms point to stage fear. The reason why people experience such issues can vary from person to person. But the common belief is that fear of stage is related to anxiety disorder due to a fear of failure or people judging them. People can be excessively self-conscious and can dread embarrassing themselves in front of people. Many research reports have also stated genetic factors as a reason for stage fear. Nevertheless, people can overcome stage fear by putting their minds to it. Here are some tips on how to overcome stage fear. 

Breathe to relax

A relaxed state of mind is the best state to develop confidence. Worrying and fear can only lessen our confidence. So, taking deep breaths before your speech can help you to relax your body and mind. In such a state, you will be able to think more clearly.

When you are crippled with anxiety, it might be difficult to make yourself take breaths. You will have to make a conscious effort to breathe.

Breathing is a very useful technique to calm yourself instantly. The extra oxygen reaching your cells will do its magic and eliminate your worrying. If you learn how to master breathing to calm your nerves, you will have conquered a major step in how to overcome stage fear. 

Turn the tables in your favor.

Anxiety is not necessarily a bad thing. Worrying about something simply means you care about it. Excessive worrying shows how important it is for you to perform well. The problem arises when the worrying starts to interfere with the performance. So, even if you are a little worried, it is okay. But if you find yourself getting more and more anxious, what you can do is tune out the mess of thoughts in your brain and focus on one.

Try to think why you are afraid. For example, if you had a very bad experience on stage long before, you are likely to be afraid of getting on stage the next time. So, when the dark thoughts start to creep in, focus on why you are worried. Convince yourself one bad experience does not mean it will repeat. Think about how different the situations are. Think about how well you have prepared and how far you have come from the last time you were on stage. This way, you can turn the anxiety and fear to your side.

Practice as much as you can

Before the day of the speech, you must be fluent in the topic. Practice as much as possible to get the confidence that you will not miss out on points or forget things. Practicing eye contact and hand gestures can help you when you speak for real in front of an audience. The more you practice, the more you become adept at it. Anxiety can also come when a person is unprepared. With enough practice, you can be very well-prepared. In such a scenario, there is no room for anxiety.

Rehearsing your speech makes you more comfortable with the words and sentences. Even if you forget a line, you can easily cover it up with something else when you are comfortable with it. If you are speaking about it for the first time, such maneuvers are difficult to come.

Improvise your speech

Studying a speech word by word and delivering it on stage just like that can be a lot more difficult, especially if it is very long. You may forget lines or even relevant paragraphs. When preparing your speech, always consider such situations. Make room for extra information, so you still have data to speak about, even if you miss a few.

Also, you can note some pointers and keywords instead of remembering the entire speech. Learn to elaborate keywords to make an entire speech. Improvising the speech as you go can give you confidence in yourself.

Be punctual 

Time is the central component of a speech. You will have to cover your topics within the frame if you have a specific allotted time. If you come late and consume more time settling on the stage, you will lose the time given to your speech. You will have to stop your speech abruptly due to time restrictions. To avoid such situations, it is better to be punctual and arrive early to the venue. This can also give you some extra time to prepare or brush up on the notes you have made before going on stage.


We have discussed just a few of the tricks and tips a person can use to help overcome stage fear. For complete results, you can always join training classes at Orator Academy. They offer incredible sessions, both group and one-on-one sessions, to the ones who are interested.

Enrol and confirm your seats at the earliest based on your convenience. The availability of slots and professionally trained tutors make it an amazing opportunity for people of any age to get over their stage fear. Consider this the right time to get over your fear of public speaking with Orator Academy.

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