Saturday, 21 February 2015

How to overcome stage fear

Overcome your nervousness on the stage

Stage fear!
Yes, that is what they call it.
But do you know that these two words describe perhaps, the human race’s greatest fear.
Right from forgetting your lines, to shaking of legs on the stage – the list is endless.

You feel nervous before delivering a speech?
Relax! It’s natural. You are just one among the millions, who share your fear too.
But if it’s that natural, why are we even discussing it?

Because your nervousness has detrimental effect on your speech. Quite a few times, it even shows up in your speech.
So, how to overcome your nervousness?

Let's begin with the basics. Before you enter into the stage, get yourself a glass of water.
No matter how stressful the situation, it always comes handy in decreasing the stress level.

One more thing to do is, to visualize your success. 
Imagine the audience clapping, better still, giving you a standing ovation – It will boost your confidence.

When you enter the stage, face the audience with a smile. It makes you seem confident. It also actually makes you confident.

Even if you are feeling butterflies in your stomach, just pretend that everything is under control. Eventually, you will gain confidence. The idea is to, “Fake it, till you make it.”

Speak slow and clear. It buys you time to recollect your thoughts.
It also helps the audience in understanding your message in a better and more effective manner.

But what if your worst fears come true?

What if you forget a line or a phrase? 
What do you do then?

The idea is simple – pause.
Pause for a second.
Don’t be nervous. 

Just pause and think.

No “umm”s, no “ahhh”s, no “I think”s – No fillers, whatsoever.

Simply pause.

It not only buys you some time to recollect your thoughts, but also helps you in getting the attention of even the least attentive people in the audience. 

When you pause briefly for a second or two, you keep them waiting for more.  In fact, you compel them to look what has happened, even when they are busy with their cell phones.

This is what we call as winning the attention of the audience.

The other big problem comes when you commit a mistake, while on the stage. 

You stated the facts wrong – So what?
It’s just a speech. The audience probably didn't even notice it.

Just ignore the problem and move on. The more you think about it, the more are the chances of you, spoiling the speech.

Even if you have committed a mistake or two, just pretend that everything is fine.

Remember, if the audience has put so much effort to show up to listen to you, it’s because they were expecting a great speech from a confident personality.

People want you to excel, that’s why they have turned up.

Give them your your best and you will excel.

Just give it some time, you will overcome it.

Remember – Even a diamond is just a piece of charcoal that has handled stress exceptionally well.

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