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7 ways to Overcome Stage Fear

Have you ever blanked out on stage? or had your hands tremble when you were called up on stage to perform? What do you think was the reason for these experiences?

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 73% of the population suffers from stage fear.

Stage fear is the state of anxiety or fear when an individual is expected to perform in front of an audience.

It's no big deal if you experience stage fear, you are not alone. Once you understand what stage fear is and why do you get it, you are all set to overcome it.

And here you are! at the right place to start with.


 

Do you know?

Stage fear is more common than the fear of death!

 


As we know that it is common to have stage fear, let us now look at the undermining causes of this fear. You might feel anxious while speaking in public because of some of the following reasons:


Causes of Stage Fear

  • Poor understanding of the topic: If you are not very well familiar with the topic that you are speaking on, you might experience fear of being at a loss of words or blanking out

  • Underestimating yourself: Not believing in yourself and not having faith in your knowledge about the topic can lead to anxiety

  • Fearing the response of the audience: Believing in hypothetical scenarios such as the audience making fun of you, laugh at you is one of the major factors that lead to stage fear

  • 'What if something goes wrong?': This thought, if something goes wrong in itself, is scary. Thinking about things that might go wrong ultimately lands you in a state of tremendous fear and anxiety. Eventually, you lose control of things that are meant to go perfectly right

Now that we understand the causes of stage fear, we can work on them to overcome stage fear and prepare ourselves to rock the stage the moment we get a chance.


Here are 7 things that you can do to overcome stage fear.


Ways to overcome stage fear


1. Prepare well

Want to overcome the Stage Fear?

Whenever you are supposed to perform in front of an audience, make sure that you prepare well for your big day. Gain thorough knowledge about the topic. Rehearse your script, speech, or presentation as much as you can. Take a look at your body movements and gestures by speaking in front of the mirror. Practice in front of your friends or family and consider their views about your overall presentation.


2.Interact with the audience

Interacting with the audience can make you both feel comfortable. First and foremost, greet your audience with a smile. Maintain eye contact with the audience at all times. Make the audience comfortable through your gestures. Make the session lively. Speak as if you are talking with the audience. Consider and respect your audience's interests while performing. Be loud and clear and enjoy yourself in the process. Before you face a huge crowd, it is always better to start performing in small groups. Begin with performing in front of your friends, family, classroom, and eventually, you will get used to performing in front of a huge crowd.


 

Bonus tip: If you are scared to look straight into the eyes of a person, look exactly in the center of the brows.

 

3. Breathe


Improving breathing through regular meditation and exercise can help you keep your calm on stage. Effective breathing can help you get rid of nervousness and perform better on stage. You feel refreshed and positive. If on stage you feel that you have blanked out, take a deep breath and start again. Once the oxygen reaches your brain, you will start recollecting your points.


4. Note down your fears


Note down your fears: Sit and relax and then start analyzing what fears you the most. Is it the audience? or your own subconscious mind? Maintain a journal to keep a track of thoughts and incidents that lead you to certain phobias. Notice the pattern. Note down any physiological symptoms such as sweaty palms, shaky hands, etc. Our conscious thoughts affect a great deal on our physical being. Destroy any negative thoughts. Think positive, be positive.


5. Be on time


Reach your destination at least 15 minutes early. This will help you calm down properly before the act. Identify a backup plan for delays or closures if you are taking public transport. Even the calmest, coolest people can go crazy when they're late, so don't add that up to your already heightened fear of performing.


6. Avoid Caffeine


Do you think consuming tea or coffee in between intervals of your act is going to boost your energy? Stop! It does not. Instead, consuming tea or coffee can make you feel jittery and nervous.


7. Eat Healthily


Eat healthy and nutritious food. Include fresh fruits and vegetables that are light on your stomach. Don't have a heavy meal before the performance as it can make you feel drowsy. Drink plenty of water, stay hydrated. This will help you maintain your energy throughout the day.




You must have now gotten a brief idea about what methods you can use to overcome this universal fear. It is common to have stage fear, what is not good is getting carried away with it. Failure is a part of success. Running away from stage fear is no good option. Facing and overcoming it is. Get up and start working and your determination will make sure that stage fear never bothers you again.


Plan, prepare, get dressed and you are all set to rock the stage.


When anxious, close your eyes, take a deep breath, relax and start again. Remember what this means to you. Look at those smiling faces in the audience and get going. The stage is all yours!

 

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