Stage fright is a complex problem that affects over 60 percent of performers. It is caused by physiological, cognitive, affective, and behavioral factors. Public speakers who experience this issue are afraid of not being up to the challenge of increased tension during their speech. These negative thoughts can trigger intense fear, panic attacks, dry mouth, trembling hands and other physical symptoms. There are various ways to overcome stage fright, ranging from meditation and relaxation techniques to mental training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medications.
Here are some practical tips for dealing with stage fright in public speaking:
Try Relaxation Techniques
Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, autogenous training and other relaxation techniques have proven to be effective in treating stage fright. Yoga helps reduce stress and relaxes your body. Even though it won’t completely eliminate fear, it can improve your confidence as well as your mental well-being. Many speakers use meditation to relax and soothe their nerves. For optimal results, meditate a few minutes daily. Visualize yourself making a speech and greeting the audience. This is one of the best ways to overcome anxiety and cope with stage fright. You can also try autogenic training, a relaxation technique that blends repetitive physical motion and deep breathing with visualization.
If you are anxious on the day of your speech, your muscles will be tight and your body stiff. Do a few stretching exercises before going on the stage. This will relax your whole body and make you feel better overall.
Do not overanalyze your gestures, clothes, and looks. Just be yourself. Give yourself permission not to be perfect. If you make a mistake during your speech, it won’t be the end of the world. Even the most experienced speakers make mistakes. You are there to help people and send a message. The audience has come to hear you talking. Nobody wants you to fail.
Do Not Over-Practice
Over-practicing your speech will increase anxiety. Learn your speech ahead of time so you can relax on the day on your presentation. The best results are obtained by daily practice. Don’t leave everything to the last minute.
Manage Your Energy
Stage fright increases adrenalin levels in your body. If you want to overcome public speaking fear, you must learn to control your body’s reaction to adrenaline. Use this energy to deliver a powerful speech and show your enthusiasm. If you try to suppress it, it will work against you.