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Strategies for Coping With Stage Fright

Your breath speeds up, your pulse races. Your throat tightens as your palms sweat, and you feel sick to your stomach. Do not worry. It is called stage fright! Learn how to cope with it, so it does not drown out your performance. 

November 21st, 2019

It is very common for artists to suffer from stage fright, especially at the beginning of their careers. It is entirely reasonable and quite understandable to be nervous. Nonetheless, you cannot let it affect your performance.

Hence, below, we will share a few proven strategies from Enterpreneur.com for coping with stage fright. 

1. Pretend you’re excited about it.

One study from Harvard Business School revealed a novel way to cope with jitters before a speech: Pretend your anxiety is excitement. This provides a way to focus all that nervous energy and present it to yourself with a positive spin.

The project’s researchers believe this approach may be more effective than merely trying to calm yourself. Telling yourself to settle down when you’re pumped full of adrenaline is an act of repression — it gives those feelings nowhere to go. In contrast, recasting your nervousness as excitement creates a framework to manage your emotions.

2. Worry about the first five minutes — and that’s it.

Research suggests the first few minutes of a presentation are the most stressful. After that, you’re more likely to settle into your role at the front of the room.

Knowing this can be a significant advantage. When you’re practicing, make sure you have the first five minutes of your presentation down cold. (The rest of your performance can be a bit more organic, which isn’t to say you shouldn’t practice it, too.)

When it’s time to present, tell yourself you have to get through those first five minutes. Believing you’re fully prepared for the worst section of your talk will give you the confidence to step to the front of the room. Odds are you won’t notice when those five minutes tick past. You’ll already have found your groove in front of the crowd.

3. Focus on the material, not your inner critic. 

Stage fright often generates a negative feedback loop that goes something like this: Before or during your presentation, the anxious part of your brain develops an image of how you must look to your audience. At the same time, it perceives every cue from the audience as a potential threat. If a listener yawns or steals a glance at the clock, your brain is likely to upgrade that action to a catastrophe. Before long, you’re convinced everyone in the room is bored and hates your presentation.

The best way to overcome this downward spiral is to keep your focus outside of yourself. Remember that your audience isn’t here to see you. They’re here to gain something from the materials and ideas you have to share with them. Concentrate on your content above all else, and you’ll avoid getting trapped in a negative state of mind.

For more tips and strategies you can visit the full article by clicking, here


This article is a re-post, with small modifications, of “5 Proven Strategies for Coping With Stage Fright” an article published on entrepreneur.com by Dan Scalco.

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