Odyssey 2010

5 Tips for Beating Stage Fright

Ever experienced fear or anxiety when you had to speak in front of an audience? Without any guidance, public speaking can be like playing online slots: pretty unpredictable. This short guide might be of interest to you if you need tips on how to tackle stage fright.

Go through the list and select one or more pieces of advice.

1. Relax and imagine it

First, you need to find a quiet place and a comfortable position. Close your eyes, take a deep breath. Do this over and over again. Play some music in the background. Then start imagining yourself in the situation. Be detailed. Imagine every step. See yourself as confident. Feel focused all along. Try to visualize the good outcome also. Do this many times a day for about five minutes or longer.

2. Rehearse

Put on the suit/dress you are going to wear. Rehearse the whole process in the safety of your home but try to make it look professional. It is helpful to have some notes, but you can skip this part as your skills evolve.
You can practice in front of a mirror. Try to look into your own eyes, even if it feels odd in the first place.

Or you can ask your family or friends to assist you. They should put on formal clothes and prepare a little business-like scene. After that, they should play roles and ask you questions related to your topic. If there is nothing specific to talk about, they can start asking you random questions.

3. Positive affirmations

Some people are skeptical when it comes to the usefulness of this technique. But they tend to forget something: don't dream too big! Don't say "I'm a natural-born speaker!" if it feels like a lie. Negative sentences don't work here either. Saying "I am not anxious when I speak." will be ineffective.

Go simpler: "I wobble sometimes, but I can get back into balance". Write down a few positive statements. Look for the relief. Put this sheet of paper in your pocket or on your desk. Repeat the affirmations throughout the day.

If you start feeling better, you can try to add extra words or brand new statements to the existing ones. You may decide to delete one at a later point.

4. Relaxation methods

This can be anything that makes you relaxed. Do anything that calms you down. Drink a coffee or read a book. Some people prefer training or cooking.
You can also call a friend for a little chit-chat. Don't tell them about it, be spontaneous.
You can do a combination of various activities, too. Do this right before starting your performance. Sometimes keeping your mind off the task is an effective way to get better results.

Bear in mind that you should use this method combined with another one.

5. Seek professional advice

In serious cases, these tips don't work or even worsen your state. We are not the same, but that doesn't mean you can't do this. If this is what you experience, do not hesitate. It would help if you looked for a therapist or a coach. It can cost you a lot, but it's a smart investment in your future.

29 Mar 2021