Tips and Tricks to Overcome Stage Anxiety

Mahvish Khan Mar 28 2016

It’s quite difficult for us to keep up with this fast paced world these days. Everyone of us is trying to juggle multiple tasks in a day. Working from 8 in the AM till 8 or 9 in the PM, studying, working, performing, we are just doing a lot for a better living. But in this hustle bustle we forget to do something for our own selves, something that motivates us to do all of this with full confidence.

Missing out on self-confidence has shown results of decreased self-confidence in people, lack of motivation and leadership skills, and sometimes entirely missing public addressing etiquettes and skills. Students have trouble conveying their ideas because they are too afraid to ask questions in the class. People are afraid of other people being judgmental and that is why they are scared of being up front. However, it’s nothing that can’t be fixed though.

Read on these basic rules to help you overcome stage anxiety:

1. Don’t Panic

It is when our voice gets shaky or when we start thinking we messed up somewhere, that our whole performance starts declining. I feel bad about saying this, but the truth is, that we prepare for any stage related act by telling ourselves not to be nervous. This is entirely wrong. Nervousness is a natural response. You can’t force your body not to be nervous. Moreover, even if you slightly get panicked, for example, you were going great and fluent, but you gulped a lot of air and it’s now stuck in your throat, you lose all that fluency and your confidence is shattered then and there.

The first thing you need to tell yourself is, that the audience is not there for you. They are there for the performance or the topic being delivered or because they just have to be there and you just happen to be the one to deliver it. One of the most interesting and effective methods (that I personally adopt) is, thinking that whatever I am going to say to the people, is entirely new to them. I am the only person who is more enlightened. And that is how I find it more interesting to keep speaking and that is how we can control our panic.

2. Stop Fighting Yourself

I have seen so many people battling with themselves at the stage and then losing all of their confidence and sometimes even coming to a halt altogether. The worst thing you can do to is, fighting a war with yourself and that too when you are literally the person of interest. To counter this, you must first find your center. You need to stop suppressing your emotions. Don’t fight against the natural instincts of your body, work with them. If you feel anxious, try to take few pauses and take a few deep breaths to regulate your heartbeat. When that is done, start recalling your content and slowly get back on track.

3. Look Alive

Many people confuse this and start walking too much, looking away from the crowd and fidgeting. Don’t do this to yourself. Stand your ground when you are speaking, look slightly above the crowd. Preparation must contain proper gaps in between different ideas and you should try to say something that will keep the crowd’s attention. If you are not getting amazed by what you are supposed to deliver, how can you expect other people to find your whole act to be interesting?

4. Involve Your Audience

Standing in front of people and telling them your ideas and your perspective of things can get a little boring. Work with people who are listening to you and try to figure out what is going on in their mind. Which aspect of your presentation are they confused about and then explain it to them. But this is a tight rope to walk. You can involve people in your act, but you have to reinforce that you are the one who is in charge. All the questions and queries must be directed towards you or your topic. For this, you must do a lot of preparation of your topic. However, if you find yourself at the lack of knowledge in front of someone or you don’t know the answer to a certain question, don’t panic. You can tell people that your knowledge is not absolute or that you must do more research to answer them. You really don’t want to say something that is fundamentally or morally wrong, on the stage.


Mahvish Khan

Mahvish Khan:

She is a teacher and an English grad from the University of Karachi. She likes the finer things in life.