How to Deal With Stage Fright?

Are you among those who experience the following while on a stage even for a very small appearance?

 

“Rapid breathing.
Dry mouth
Trembling hands, lips and voice
Sweaty and cold hands
Nausea
Vision changes.”

 

If yes, then don’t worry. You are not alone.
You are not the only one to face performance anxiety or stage fright. There are millions of others who have the same kind of issues. Statistically, about 75% of the adults have stage fright. Most performers like musicians, athletes, actors, public speakers have this issue of getting intense anxiety and tension with the mere thought of a stage performance. Such anxiety can actually hinder your performance and prevent you from giving your best. Few even show intense physiological reactions like fainting down or panic attacks when on stage.

Some may improve with time, while for other’s it’s nearly impossible to survive with it. Though you can’t get rid of it completely. There are a few tips which could help you in managing the stage fright in a better way.

  • Visualization: This includes visualizing your success and performance in mind, before getting on the stage. Have a mental sketch about how you are going to perform. This would boost your confidence and such a state of mind is really important before facing public. Be totally aware of your weakness and prepare your mind for the next moments. But highlight should be given to your strength.

  • Enough Practice: Before the on stage performance try to have enough practice with the material been presented so that you could be an expertise in that. Moreover try to read it aloud before someone. Going for a mock performance before-hand is also beneficial. Be open to criticisms and suggestions.

  • Meditation: Meditation should be practiced every day, but it become more beneficial when done just before the delivery. You can focus on your stressed muscles and try to free them by various techniques like deep breathing for a few minutes. It would be really effective if you could pair up your breathing with the visualization. Stretch your body to make it more relaxed. This would make you feel more easy and confident, hence enhancing your stage performance.

  • Know the audience: Another important aspect is to have a good grip on your targeted audience. Have a study before the big day on how to deal with the expected questions and anticipate them in advance. Prepare a few questions in advance. As the audience differ, presentation should also differ. The fact being that you should have enough practice and preparation to face the audience.

  • Have a connection: Being on the stage and giving a performance is more a dichotomous activity where you perform and the audience give feedback. So from the very moment you enter the stage try to build a connection with them. You can even ask them questions, don’t forget to have eye contact with the audience. This will make you feel warm and comfortable with the audience and hence be more confident on the stage.

  • Rational thoughts: Many of our issues could be resolved by converting and redirecting our irrational beliefs into rational ones. We must not deny the fact that making mistakes are humanly and that’s what make us better the next time. So, be honest with yourself that you may commit a mistake while on the stage and that’s not a crime. Everyone does it. Moreover some amount of anxiety is necessary to some extent. Focus on the naïve irrational and illogical beliefs while focusing to bring changes to them.

  • Know yourself: A good self-awareness is very much important. You should have knowledge about your weakness and strength and that would help you to convert each of the weakness into your greatest strength. Having an inner self talk would help you much in this process.

Never forget the fact that it’s mostly the first five minutes of the talk that’s crucial, but as you proceed and create your comfort zone on the stage, you have done it. Your goal should be to achieve that stage when the stage and mike become your best friend. It may seem difficult but not impossible.

According to DSM, stage fright or phobia is one among the most common disorder which could be managed with consistent effort and will power. when the anxiety becomes very high that you end up in Panic attacks, then you might even seek help from a Psychologist who could give you with the process of reducing it.

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