Three quick tricks against stage fright
You have been preparing for a performance, a business presentation or a public speech. Now the time is here and you are going onto the stage. What can you do at the last moment to make yourself less nervous?
While walking onto the stage, use the quickest, simplest and most efficient trick to calm down.
It is a breathing technique, used by artists as well as speakers. It helps to calm down the symptoms caused by adrenalin that is being produced in your body at that moment, such as: shaky hands or voice, sweating, nausea, difficulties with swallowing or with concentration.
Best is to practise the technique in advance, so that you get used to exercising it in public in a way that is not visible at all. Think of it, for example, in the street, in a shop or on public transport when something makes you feel nervous.
To feel more relaxed:
- breathe in slowly (nose)
- breathe out slowly (mouth)
- consciously relax your shoulders
Repeat 3-4 times if possible, and observe the effect.
You can use the same technique when going onto the stage, it is really efficient.
Assume a confident body posture.
Unless you are acting, (and so need to take a special pose on the stage), assume the following body posture. It will make you not only look good but also feel more confident. Get used to the position already while you are learning your speech or performance, so that it will become automatic.
Your confident body posture:
- straighten up, then relax your shoulders
- torso, face, legs and feet should be turned towards the audience
- if sitting, you can lean little bit to the front – towards the audience
- arms should be uncrossed and open
- raise your chin up
- if it feels natural, smile
Think of a positive formula or visualisation.
Now it is time to quickly think of something positive, something that will remind you that you are not in a “life or death” situation. You can prepare such a thought or visualisation in advance, and then just remember it at that moment.
- examples of positive thoughts: The audience is frankly interested in my story. Or: If I lose my place, I will pause, smile and go on, and it will be totally fine.
- examples of positive visualisations: You, speaking with confident voice and smile; or: the audience, clapping and smiling at you.
You are ready to start.
If you are going to make a public speech or a performance, and you would like some more intensive and tailor-made support, you can arrange a coaching session here.