Do you suffer from stage fright during performances and theatre shows? You start feeling nervous, shaky and sometimes even blank when it comes to performing in front of an audience, regardless it’s five people or fifty. If you are a member of that congregation, it is important for you to understand that your reaction is not anything out of the ordinary. Stage fright or performance anxiety is a gut-wrenching experience that occurs to many people including the most confident performers. It is a feeling of fear, anxiety and low confidence that may negatively impact the performance of an artist. However, the best part is, it is easy to cope up with stage fright by training your body and mind to relax and trying a few tricks.
There are two types of people in the society: those who are super confident to perform/speak in the public and rest are the ones who are scared even to think about public speaking or to perform in front of an audience. Though it is just a categorization and in actual almost every person experiences some degree of stage anxiety before speaking/performing in public. However, most manage to get over it no matter how unpleasant they may find it.
The post here is intended to highlight 4 best ways to overcome stage fright:
1. Keep Calm
To overcome stage fright, the foremost thing you need to do is relax your body and mind. When both your mind and body are relaxed, it is likely that you give your cent percent. Do a few stretches. This will help to reduce tension in the body.
Nervousness is always accompanied by fast and short breaths which often result in shaky voice. Before you go on stage, take some slow, deep breaths, so that by the time you get to the stage your breathing is relaxed and your voice is steady.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
Knowing your stuff helps but it does not assure that you will perform well too on the stage. You need to practice as much as you can before appearing for your final performance. The more you practice, the more you become familiar with lyrics, rhythm and the music. Practice in an environment setup similar to the actual one. This will remove the unknown elements and will make you familiar with the actual environment. As the familiarity increases, feeling of anxiety decreases and the confidence develop.
3. Don’t let your audience know about your mistake
You have prepared, practiced and feel good about your performance. Suddenly, during the performance you realize that you mixed the notes or forget lyrics. In this situation, don’t panic and react because it is you only who knows about the mistake. Your audience does not. If you bring it up, people might start looking towards the downside of a performance which ultimately will affect the overall purpose.
4. Double check everything
During practice and before starting your performance, always do what we call “Cross Checking”. Ensure all your instruments play well; they are scaled according to your voice range. When you walk on stage and suddenly realize that it is not the scale it was supposed to, it will be too late!
It is very normal if questions like “What if I make mistakes?”, “What if the crowd doesn’t like the music, the band or me?” or “Am I even good enough to be playing on a stage?” raise in your mind. Stage fright is not something that only happens to beginners; it can and does happen to anyone, including some of the most experienced performers. You have to expect and accept the fact that you will feel anxious, especially the first few minutes of your presentation. Just focus on your performance and the anxiety will slowly ease off itself.