Isn’t it ironic that the bravest of souls, ready to die for their country, would actually fear something as regular and common as speaking in front of an audience? Even the most proficient and skilled dancers have shaky legs and hands before their performance? Well, it may be ironic but it does trouble a whole lot of people, from all age groups, newbies and experienced. So much so that it has left the fear of heights, deep water, insects, and even death behind. Although stage fright is impossible to conquer, it can however be evaded to an extent that it no longer dictates terms to you but will be in your grasp. You’ll be the controller of it and not the other way around. While the degree of stage fright varies from person to person, through a series of measures the devastating effects of it can be brought down to bare minimum. Read the part below to know about how to overcome stage fright.
Overcoming Stage Fright
The best thing that you can do to avoid all the hyperactivity caused by the apocalyptic visuals of the world collapsing down into one big mush if you go up there on stage is by simply being ready. Whether it’s a speech you have to give or a performance with which you want to enthrall the audience, you can easily tone down the nerves by knowing your stuff and getting mastery over the subject. By practicing over and over, you can remove the fear of making a mistake, by proceeding calmly to the stage and giving your best.
Breathe it out!
Breathe the fear out! Stage fright is one the most common fears and shakes the nuts and bolts out of everybody. Fearing it is only natural, but succumbing to it and taking an about turn is not the solution. A natural solution to this natural fear is natural breathing. Fear cripples and induces short and fast breaths that further aggravate the tensed state of affairs. Whenever you feel that fear is overtaking your natural senses, isolate yourself to a quiet room or space and start breathing naturally: slow and deep breaths.
Remember that fear is natural and each and every person will go through it if asked to come on up stage and face the audience. Many of them would give an arm to not be up on the stage and are rather glad that it’s you instead of them. Also, remember that you are your worst critic and nobody would care that much if you mess it up. It’s your speech, believe that you know more than the audience (ensure that you back it up by following the first point) and that if you don’t believe in the stuff you’re selling, neither will the audience.
First Few Minutes!
Much of the hopped up nerves start settling down in a few minutes of taking the stage. And that is precisely where the problem lies, for many of the fretters look too deep into it. It doesn’t matter for how much long you have to hold stage: 15 minutes, half an hour, or one hour. Within the first few minutes of taking the stage, the nerves automatically start to calm down and the feeling of being comfortable with the setting starts to kick in. If, rather than focusing on the whole of the stage outing you can get yourself to focus for first 5 minutes; you’ll overcome half of the problem with ease.
Cat Among The Pigeons!
Another fine way to ease up a little is by transferring what’s bothering you to the audience. Release the cat among the pigeons! Only kidding and it’s not exactly as it sounds. Sometimes the best way to overcome fear is by getting someone else actively involved in your routine. In your case: the audience. Getting them involved in the speech you’re giving by asking them to participate via questions or opinions is a fine way to calm yourself up. If you’re a performer, going into the audience or having a few come over the stage in turns and sharing in the fun will not only charge up the show but it will be like water poured down on a heap of burning coal, that is, your tensed mind.
Create a Positive Zone
No matter how much you’ve sweated over the backstage or how neatly you’ve bitten your own nails; there’s a part of you, even if it is only a little and not so strong, that believes in the positive and knows that it can be done. But that part gets completely hidden behind the curtain of stage fright. It’s about how you make that positive part to take over the negative part in all this mayhem. Set aside a time before you have to take the stage, say 2-3 hours before it and force put yourself in that positive frame of mind. You can do all the complaining or whining before that time period, but once you’ve crossed the time mark, do it no more. Slowly your confident side will take over you and you’ll feel more comfortable in taking the stage.
“Nobody cares as much you do” – you know it’s true, if only you could make your mind understand that, then stage fright would only take smallest of efforts to overcome.