Let’s begin with how to overcome
stage fright before your performance.
1) Proper preparation
It’s very important that you do a proper research on your topic and be armed for the performance, you don’t want to go on stage and start saying the ‘Errs’ ‘Umms’ and ‘Ahhs’.
2) Practice (in front of a mirror)
After outlining your points, you should pay more attention to practice. A common technique is the mirror practice; which involves you talking and gesticulating in front of a mirror.(and no it is not a form of mental disorder) This technique is very effective because it helps you watch your performance, hear yourself and do an overall assessment.
3) Eat healthy
Now I can hear you say “what does food have to do with the presentation I have to do in front of an entire company?”
Relax… it has everything to do with it.
The benefit of good food is always rewarding, its like an investment which pays off on your skin and health generally. Try to eat enough, so you don’t feel tired midway through your performance.
While you’re fueling your brain with knowledge, you should also fuel your body with food.
4) Do Exercise or Meditation
The importance of exercise cannot be over emphasized, try doing a 10-20 minutes exercise everyday. It helps you get comfortable with your body.
Also, engaging in meditation practices; preferably Yoga is very beneficial in areas of mental strength, inner calm and focusing on your strengths.
5) Wear something comfortable
I once knew a lady who couldn’t raise her hands up to describe what she was lecturing on a projector due to the tightness of the fabric around her arms and shoulder. Don’t be like that, wear something modest and comfortable.
Its the d-day! What do I do?
Alright, so its finally time to head down to the event and deliver your heartrending speech. Here’s what to do:
1) Arrive early
Getting there early gives you an edge especially if you’re there 30 minutes before time. This helps you tune in or adjust to your surrounding.
2) Feel at ease
Try to relax while you’re back stage, calm your nerves, nothing’s going to go wrong unless you allow it. You’re not going to be on the stage forever.
3) Try to think of anything else but your performance
Distract yourself, talk to other people, crack jokes, just do anything to relief tension.
4) Do something silly
Being silly comes in handy in overcoming stage fright.
Whenever I’m going in stage, I always do a silly dance back stage or in front of the toilet mirror while listening to my favourite music. This personally works for me. Find what works for you and utilize it.
If you’re doing pageant catwalks (which requires you smiling gracefully forever. Here’s a major tip a friend of mine taught me: Imagine any of your male friends in your mother’s night gown. Hahaha, ridiculous right? But it worked!
And that imagination had us smiling like happy dolls from start to finish.
Be ridiculous, you’re not the first; people are used to other people being all shades of silly.
Now let’s welcome Mr/Miss/Mrs … to the stage!
Here’s what to do:
1) Get a grip, life isn’t that hard
Try as much as possible to be composed, smile and hold you head high while you walk to stage like its yours and pick up the microphone.
2) Hold your microphone properly
The manner in which you hold your microphone contributes a great deal to the quality of your voice and how audible you are. The microphone should be held slightly adjacent to your mouth; not too close and not too far. Like this —>
I said it before and I’m saying it again…
A smile tends to put your audience off guard and make them relax.
When you smile, it relaxes your tensed up muscles and makes you feel more comfortable at the beginning of your performance
4) Try to create contact with your audience
If you’re super confident like I can be sometimes, you can try to hold the gaze of someone in the audience for a few seconds and then repeat with another person. You should do this randomly with people in all corners so you can cut across, but if your confidence game isn’t too strong yet, just stick to looking at their heads or foreheads.
However, when looking into their eyes directly, do not do this for long to avoid coming off as creepy (so you don’t have anyone running out screaming) but when this technique is done right, you’d get their attention and have them spellbound
5) Don’t rumble
No matter what, don’t rumble your words. If you’re a natural fast talker, try to slow down so you can articulate and pick your words without forgetting them. Remember that people don’t hear what you say when you’re too fast or jam talking, easy on the accent except you’re a radio or an OAP(On Air Personality).
6) Finally, Brethren… be confident with yourself and relax!
Everyone likes to be around a confident person.
Now go on that stage and overcome!
Tell me, how have you been able to overcome your stage fright and which of the above steps do you intend to practice?
Let me know in the comment box below. 🙂