Butterflies in the belly, Stage fright. Nerves, Fearful, Anticipation, Anxiety, Dry mouth, Sweaty palms, Uneasy, Worrying, Stressing?
Call it what you will – the symptoms of pre-speech fears, public speaking stage fright affect most of us, in fact if they didn’t then you would have a bigger problem to overcome. And that’s a good thing, because our nerves energise us and get us ready for the talk. Your nervousness and anxiety are telling you, you want to influence & engage your audiences and speak at your best.
The good news is, your stage fear goes away after a few minutes into your presentation. Still, there is that tricky fight or flight time before you begin speaking.
Would you like to turn down the intensity on those heeby jeebies and get to feel more in control? Here are some strategies of dealing with stage fright tips you can try to help calm yourself just before you speak. You shouldn’t need to try all of these methods every time. Find your “process”, that fits with you, then use them to reduce your pre performance fears just before you speak.
Tips for nerves
- Get into the room early, at least an hour early if possible. Chat with people and start to feel the comfort of your surroundings.
- Notice and think about your surroundings.
- Go to the toilet. ;^)
- Check everything you need to check – sound system, speaking area, lectern, stage entry, acoustics, projector, slide show or video
- Ask questions about local events or related topics to your talk
- Drink small sips of room temperature water.
- Empty your pockets of everything unessential to your delivery – heavy, rattly or awkward looking
- Check out how you look in a mirror and make sure all adjustments are complete before getting on stage.
- Have your hair under control, pinned or tied back not continually dropping across your face or sliding off your ear.
- Check you have minimal jewellery that won’t distract you or your audience
- Get into a conversation with the people by you. Ask interesting questions to show your interest.
- Hum to warm up your vocal chords. Yawn to relax your throat.
- Wear a warm smile
- Run your purpose and mantra through your head several times.
- Look at all the interesting people here to hear you.
- Review your opening and close.
More tips for nerves
- Go to the toilet.. again. ;^)
- Square diaphragm breathe deeply, evenly, and slowly for several minutes – 3 seconds in, three seconds hold, three seconds out, three seconds hold.
- If you have nervous knees, go for a quick walk.
- Refrain from eating if possible especially nuts, chocolate, anything drying, sticky or crunchy that might cause you to want to clear your throat, keep drinking, cough or get in your teeth.
- Double and triple check your A/V equipment.
- Refuse alcohol, caffeinated or high sugar drinks or any kind of drugs until after you have spoken.
- Mentally rehearse using visualisation when in the speaking area.
- Pay attention to your audience.
- Listen to motivational music.
- Do exercises that tighten and release muscles to release nervous energy.
- Shake hands and smile with attendees before the start.
- Practice your eye contact as you chat with people.
Remember that nervousness is normal, your audience would prefer to see you do well, they mostly feel embarrassed if you are showing your nerves. Your audience is there because they want something from your talk certainly not to measure if you are nervous or not.
You are merely the conduit of your information for your audience to absorb and hopefully take away to help them become better. Feel yourself as calm and centred using the strategies above, and you’ll be ready to present your best every time.
A good thing to remember is that fear is a concoction of our imagination, it is not real. Our feelings are real however we create them with our thoughts. We can change that as quick as a wink.
Imagine if you are sad or a little angry and a happy soul comes along and tells you a ripper joke and you can’t help but burst out laughing. Your imagination put you in that funny situation and you laughed, just the same as your imagination puts you in a fearful situation and you get scared feelings. Change your thoughts and you change your feelings.
Back on the post about purpose the first ‘P’ I mentioned a mantra. There is a reference also to using the mantra in a certain way to sharpen your focus. This is a very effective way to also rethink your self away from your False Evidence Appearing Real negative thinking that is giving you your feelings of fear.
The simplest way is to think these are the same feelings I get when I am pumped about doing something exciting.. I can do this and have fun.
I can do this and have fun!
For more information or Courses check out – Speech Master Academy
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