Stage Fright or fear of public speaking can take a lot away from your professional life! It can make day to day tasks daunting and sometimes even impossible. Imagine seizing up every time you have to make a presentation or even speak at a meeting. Surprisingly even some seasoned speakers suffer from stage fright!
Stage fear can be overcome or controlled following some simple tips.
So here are 5 tips and tricks to overcome stage fright:
1. Breathe – It is important to carry out breathing exercises before any event where you are expected to speak. This becomes even more critical when you suffer from stage fright. Breathing properly relaxes your body and calms your mind. Most people who suffer from stage fright will tell you their throat feels constricted and they are unable to breathe properly. Practicing proper breathing can help you overcome this.
2. Arrive Early – If you are a speaker at an event or meeting, arrive early. This will give you time to calm your nerves and freshen up if required. Relax and have a glass of water. It is good for your nerves to be in an empty room and see it slowly fill up rather than come to a packed room.
3. Mingle with the Audience – Arriving early will also give you the opportunity to mingle with the audience. Some speakers like to sit with them and talk before they take the stage. This provides a personal connect with the people and they are no more just an audience but people whom you know by name!
4. Think on Your Feet – Most human interactions are unpredictable since you don’t know how someone will react. It is this uncertainty that also frightens some people. The best advice is to be prepared for any uncertainty. Always have a Plan B! Be quick and think on your feet to tackle difficult people. Remember the best strategy is to not offend anyone and respond quickly. This is easier said than done. The more you go on stage the more experience you will have and you will become better at handling people and situations. This brings me to the last tip.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice – The more you practice the more confident you will be with what you have to say. Each practice session will also help you visualize different questions and situations and you will be better prepared for that. Even the most seasoned actors need to rehearse before they deliver their best performance. Remember Rome wasn’t built in one day!
Keep these tips in mind next time you go on stage and see the magic!
For more on Soft Skills look up the BizComm Program of Strengthscape.