What is stage fright?
Experts define Stage Fright as the anxiety or fear of performing in front of an audience. This fear can be associated with many different causes and origins. However, the most common reason behind it can be a social phobia or the fear of crowds or strangers.
Social phobia, in simple words, is the fear of social situations and interactions. This is one of the main reasons people experience stage fright or performance anxiety. This fright can be experienced on 3 basic levels, namely, physiological, behavioral, and cognitive.
- Cognitive level:
Extreme overthinking, constant contemplation of failure, confusion, dilemma, and the constant fear of something going wrong, etc.
- Physiological level:
Sweating, shivering, dizziness, increased heart rate, gurgling sensation in the stomach, sudden chills, etc.
- Behavioral level:
Fumbling, inability to articulate proper sentences, urge to escape, paranoia, or zoning out.
Along with social phobia, there are many other causes of stage fright. Let us look at some other causes of performance anxiety.
Other causes of Stage Fright.
Depending from person to person, the causes and reasons for developing this fear may vary. Many people are shy and introverted by nature, while some may have developed it due to some experience.
Just like the causes, the solutions to these issues also differ from person to person. Hence, if you are looking forward to learning how to get rid of stage fear, you might want to consult a professional to get to the root and find an efficient solution.
The body’s immediate responses to fight or flight situations are similar to the response to these types of situations. The minds of the people who are afraid of public speaking see these situations as threats. This, in turn, causes the amygdala to send a panic response through the body. Hence, anxiety and fight-or-flight responses can be causes of stage fright.
- Fear of rejection:
Most of us have a fear of rejection or failure. This leads to us avoiding situations where we may have to speak publicly. This fear is a result of giving too much importance to other people’s opinions. When you learn how to get rid of stage fear, you are taught how much importance you should be giving others’ opinions about you. Due to this unnecessary importance, people start fearing rejection or negative replies and hence avoid facing such situations.
- Past experiences:
We all know that some negative experiences of the past have some effect on our behavior. Past events of humiliation or failure can leave a mark and leave people with a constant fear of failure. The marks left by these events may go undetected if the incidence is very old. However, the effect is usually seen when the opportunity of speaking arises. Hence past experiences can be reasons behind one’s stage fear.
- Low confidence and self-esteem:
People who usually like to be hidden or away from the stage may have issues with confidence and self-esteem. Poor self-esteem can cause one to fear public appearances to the point that even introductions become awkward for them. Just like that, people who are not confident enough may also have issues while speaking on stage.
How to get rid of stage fear?
Getting rid of any fear that has been there for a long time can be a difficult process if you deal with it all alone. However, if you take guidance and proper training in the field of public speaking, you may be able to do that effectively and faster.
The main reason behind this is that, as humans, we all either deny or justify our fears which is normal. However, sometimes this denial or justification can be the reason why overcoming the fear becomes difficult.
With professional help, you can see the problem from a different perspective and can hence solve it better. Hence, it is always advisable to take professional help.
Here are some general ways that one can get rid of stage fear:
- Acceptance and awareness
The most effective way of getting rid of stage fear is to embrace it. This may sound a bit too idealistic, but it is still very true. When you accept your fear and are self-aware, you can find a better solution.
- Avoiding overthinking:
Small mistakes and errors are bound to happen when it comes to public speaking. However, many people tend to panic and overthink a lot about it, leading to the formation of an unnecessary negative self-image. This can decrease your confidence in future performances. Hence, although learning from your mistakes is important, overthinking them can make speaking in the future difficult for you.
- Living in the moment:
While performing, you only need to focus on the present moment. Past mistakes and future results should not be thought about while performing. On the stage, your only focus should be performing your best. If you are able to manage that, you will be less likely to make mistakes due to stress.
- Practicing consistently:
The only way you can improve in public speaking is through continuous practice. When you practice in front of different people and different settings, you get to know your style and strengths better. Along with that, you also get to know your weaknesses, and you can work on them effectively. Practice makes you a lot more confident, and it ensures that you know your performance so well that even if errors are made, you can handle them well.
There are various reasons behind people having stage fear. From past experiences to low confidence, the reasons are different from person to person. However, with effective guidance and proper training, everyone can learn how to get rid of stage fear.
We always want what is best for us. When it comes to getting rid of stage fear, Orator Academy is one of the best out there. With their expertise on public speaking, you can get rid of your stage fright and become a better public speaker.