How To Overcome Stage Fright
Stage fright isn’t just something experienced by public speakers. It can be experienced by literally anyone. And that is because “stage fright” can actually take place in many different forms. It can be asking for a raise, approaching someone new, or giving a toast at a wedding. And here’s the best part about it: if you can overcome the anxiety and fear that you feel about public speaking or meeting new people, you can reap the benefits of a more free and exciting life. Here are some tips you can use to practice coming to your stage.
Tip #1: Prepare and Practice
Prepare as much as you can. Practice your speech or that tough conversation before it happens. Write down your process and every step of what you are going to say or do. This will ensure that you can deliver without forgetting. Don’t just read through your plan, read it out loud. Reading out loud allows you to hear your words and see if it sounds exactly like you want it to. It will be much clearer if you need to make any edits. You can even go a step further and record yourself or practice in front of a mirror. You’ll be able to not only hear yourself but see your demeanor as you speak. If you have a friend, you can roleplay with them. Ask them to help you practice. Preparedness and practice go a long way.
Tip #2: Develop Rituals
Learn what you need to do to elicit your best performance. Most performers, athletes, and public speakers have specific routines they do leading up to events to ensure their most impactful performance. Decide what that means for you as well as your audience. It will make you feel comfortable before stepping into the spotlight. It may be waking up early and going for a run in the morning followed by a small breakfast. Maybe all you need is a hot shower and a large coffee to feel in the zone. Find out what puts you in the best mood to feel ready, confident, and capable. Then, simply rinse and repeat!
Tip #3: Enhance Your Confidence
One of the best ways to overcome anxiety or fear in preparation for an event is to remember all of the ways you have overcome challenges before. Remember another time you came to the stage and faced your fears. If what you are doing is brand new to you, consider the accomplishments you’ve made in the past, no matter how small. Track and remember all the hard things you have done and the hurdles you’ve surpassed. Give yourself credit for all that you are capable of and use that to boost yourself up.
Tip #4: Get Your Blood Flowing
Get those endorphins going by moving your body before coming to the stage. It is scientifically proven that exercise reduces stress and anxiety levels and improves your mood. Getting the blood flowing in your body will stimulate your brain to get moving as well. You will be more focused both physically and mentally. Set yourself up for success by taking advantage of this! Do jumping jacks, stretches, or go for a brisk walk. Wake up your body and your brain.
Tip #5: Deep Breaths
Conversely, if your heart is hammering in your chest and you don’t feel like you can calm yourself down: pause and take 3 deep breaths. Quiet your thoughts and tune in to your breath. Feel the air moving in through your nose and out your mouth. You can actively slow your heart rate by taking these slow, deliberate breaths. It takes about 30 seconds and you can instantly calm yourself. Plus...you’ve totally got this!
Tip #6: Study Others
Do some research on whatever your task is. Observe other people doing it- live if you can. If not, hop on YouTube and watch video after video. Be a sponge and learn from others. Find someone who is nailing their speeches and figure out how you can steal techniques and tactics from them. Study those who do it well AND those who don’t. You can learn just as much from watching people make mistakes.
Tip #7: Learn How To Be Spontaneous
Life will never stop throwing curveballs your way. And more often than not, it likes to do so when things seem to be going pretty well. So, learn how to adapt. Learn how to be in the moment when things don’t go as planned. Be able to react and, if needed, change the script. It is one of the things that makes improv comedy so enjoyable: watching people change their words or actions on the spot with no idea what’s coming next can be so entertaining. Learning to be spontaneous like this can help you develop the mental and emotional agility that enable you to face your spotlight with the confidence that no matter what happens, you can handle it. And keep in mind that people will be attracted to your authenticity more than anything.
Anyone can experience some form of stage fright, Yes, it can be very anxiety-inducing but it doesn’t have to be. Using these tricks, you can learn how to overcome that nervousness. You can figure out which tips work best for you and which may not be very helpful. Maybe exercising gets you too worked-up and slowing down and taking deep breaths is a better choice for you. Shake off that shyness, overcome that nervousness, and step into the spotlight you deserve. You will have the confidence to tackle anything that comes your way (spotlight related or otherwise). The most important thing to do is practice and learn and get better as you go.
If you want to give yourself a LeveledUP experience, here’s one of our favorites...
Introduce yourself to 3 new people today (it’s possible even with masks and physical distancing). Talk to the person in the elevator with you or someone at the grocery store. Make a comment and start a conversation. Come to the stage on this small scale and see what happens. ;)
If you complete the challenge, reach out and let us know how it went! We’re always curious to see how you’re doing ... CONTACT US