What is stage fright really?
Sometimes, even weeks before a presentation, I would think, What happens if people think I suck or someone thinks I don’t know what I’m talking about?
As humans were hardwired to worry about our reputation above almost all things. There are primitive parts of your brain that control your reaction to threats on your reputation, making these reactions extremely difficult to control.
When making public performances, many of the top performers in the world get stage fright so you are in good company. Stage fright may come and go or diminish, but it usually does not vanish permanently. You must concentrate on getting the feeling out in the open, into perspective and under control.
Why do you suffer from stage fright?
I’ll describe six causes of stage fright to explain in totality why and how it takes place. After understanding the root cause of the problem, I will also give suggestions as to how you can avoid stage fright. This video has been prepared for all those friends who are afflicted by the demon called stage fright but do not know how to avoid, how to overcome or how to conquer this enemy of the human confidence.
1.Fear of Failure
It starts no sooner you accept the assignment of making a speech. After confirming, you start thinking why did you agree? You are not a public presentation. What if you fail to come up to the expectation of the audience? You will make a fool of yourself and for no reason. Instead of sitting downer and preparing, you harbor these negative thoughts until you get involved in your activities.
These constant negative thoughts start scaring you. You feel something ominous is ahead of you, recollection of the previous occasions when you could not perform well bring a kind of misery. Efforts to prepare the speech even when you sit down to write do not bring positive results. What happens next? What does it lead to?
Fear-provoking thoughts make you anxious. The anxiety starts working. It breeds worry making it extremely difficult to prepare a proper speech. For sure, there are more negative thoughts. And that leads the stage 4.
Your anxiety is increased with deepening fear and non-preparation. The problem grows and disturbs your logical thinking. But now its a point of no return. Some days have passed and there is no way you can come out of the predicament. Then it leads to stage5.
5. Worry & Resultant distractions
Focus on fears, anxiety and worry cause distraction. This makes the task even more difficult. But somehow you prepare the speech. It doesn’t even appeal to you. But you can do nothing. So you are ready but with a substandard speech.
6. Dismal Result due to non-preparation and negativity
You are on the stage. You are nervous. Whatever you had prepared, even that plays hide and seek with you. You start making the same mistakes which you had predicted. Your legs shake, hands shiver voice cracks. Instead of a 15-minute speech, you could last only for 5 to 6 minutes. Your enemy stage fright had the day of celebration. It had won. You come down like a defeated person.
How to beat your enemy down?
Now, let me tell you how to tame this wild bull, your victor the stage fright. I’ll briefly but clearly explain the five steps formula to beat your enemy down.
The day you agree to speak, on the same day you should note down the points which you will like to project. Whatever you know is fine. Google out the rest. Having the points is just like collecting your ammunition.
Next day, you go through these points a number of times. You may find some of them not so lethal while you find others like dynamites. Retain the dynamites and throw away the weaklings. Don’t keep anything extra. Now, you are ready to wage a war. You have all the weapons.
Again you go through the points you have now collected. As you have slept over them for 2days, you will find it very easy to put them in proper order. One naturally will lead to another and you will have a good Skelton for your speech. It is the framework of your final delivery. Just like a general of an army strategizes the attack and keep ready to wage a war against your abominable enemy stage fright. This done, you must visualize yourself as the victor in the mar. See yourself battling away all the enemies, big and small.
Just visualization will not help. It will inspire to put in all the hard work that lies ahead. Now, for balance days that you have, you must practice, practice and practice. Since it’s your first big battle no am omit of practice is too much. Practice as much as you can but also some more.
On the day of reckoning go to the appointed place at least an hour early. Meet organizers and others who have come. Talk to them informally. You know your subject in and out. You have practiced your speech number of times than anyone can imagine. You are sure to come out as a winner. Stage fright will be scared of you and you will rock the stage. Wherever there is applause allow people to have their way. Don’t limit their appreciation. Thank them with your facial expression and then continue. At the end receive compliments gracefully and not sheepishly.
Now you are ready for the next expedition.
Thanks for reading. Your comments are welcome.