The other day I undertook a 1/2 day training called Stage Fright! To be honest, I didnt really know what to expect from it but it was sold as a good course and that at it would 'address your nervousness, performance anxiety and stage fright in business situations to help you handle your nerves when communicating, and overcome your performance anxiety during public speaking.' I didn't really know if I suffered from stage fright or not, but I think we were honest we all would say that we do.
Do you suffering from stage fright? Do you suffer from a fast beating heart, tense muscles, a shaky voice, dry mouth, shortness of breathe? Then you have probably suffered from some sort of stage fright.
What are the key tips that I learned through this?
- Understand the power of your voice and how you can use it to your advantage. Your voice has an amazing range from low to high, soft to hard, quiet to loud. Use this range.
- Breathing and knowing your body and how it works are very powerful. One of the exercises we did was to put your hand on your collar bone and breath very quickly in a panting way- its amazing how much anxiety kicks in just because of the way you breathe. Do the same but with slow measured breaths and you will fill the exact opposite.
- How do you stand affects whether you are confident or calm. If you are giving a presenation then stand. Sometimes it is appropriate to sit but think about the message you are sending. During the course we had a interesting debate around this and concluded that when you stand you command authority and when you sit you are more like one of the group.
- Practice and practise in front of your friends or a mirror. See what other people see, get feedback, understand your quirks and how you behave when you speak. One of the delegates didnt realise that she always put her hands behind her back when she spoke- you would think it was so obvious, but she had no idea.
- Finally, remember that people are there to listen to your message, not to judge you or to look at how you speak. Even if you forget something or need to take a pause then dont worry because if the message is engaging enough then people will remember that not how many times you said 'umm' or if you forgot one key point.