What is Stage Fright?
What is stage fright? Stage fright, like all anxiety, is a type of anxiety. Your brain and body mistakenly believe you are in danger. We have evolved to be able to run away or fight against things that could hurt us. Even if there isn’t an actual threat, you can still get scared and your body will want to flee, fight or freeze. This can hinder many things, including performance.
What are the reasons for stage fright?
Stage fright can be caused by many different factors, which will vary from one person to the next. While some people are more prone to performance anxiety than others, it is important to remember that everyone can experience it, even the most experienced musicians.
These are some common causes:
- No preparation.
- Fear and anxiety about failure.
- Pre-existing anxiety.
- No experience.
What happens when stage fright strikes?
However, the exact mechanism of stage fright is not known. Your body releases more stress hormones when you are required to perform on stage or have to take an exam. Your body reacts to this and takes you back to when we were unintentionally attacked by a saber-toothed tiger. Your body can detect danger by using all hormones. The body now releases excessive levels of adrenaline, also known to be the stress hormone. This allows you to either run and grab your feet or face the enemy and fight. Although saber-toothed Tigers are now extinct, your body reacts to perceived dangers just as it did thousands of years ago.
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How to overcome Stage Fright?
Stage fright can be a debilitating issue for anyone, regardless of their experience level. Fortunately, several strategies can help you stay calm and in control when you’re facing a crowd.
The first step to overcoming stage fright is to practice. Rehearsing your presentation will give you confidence knowing that it is well-prepared and organized. Make sure to practice in front of an audience, even if it’s only family or friends so that you get used to the feeling of performing in front of people. Practicing will also help you remember your material better and reduce any anxiety related to forgetting what to say while on stage.
Another helpful technique is deep breathing exercises, which help reduce stress and anxiety. Take several slow, deep breaths to relax your body and clear your mind before taking the stage. This will help keep you calm and focused while presenting.
When it comes to public speaking, positive self-talk is also key in overcoming stage fright. Instead of focusing on negative thoughts such as “I will make a fool out of myself” or “Everyone will think I’m terrible at presenting”, focus instead on positive affirmations like “I am prepared for this presentation” or “I am confident in my ability to perform well.” These types of statements will help reinforce confidence and reduce any fear or worry that may arise from being up on stage.
Finally, it is important to remember that everyone experiences stage fright at some point or another. Remind yourself that a few butterflies before your presentation is perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of. You can also try to remember that the audience wants you to succeed, so focus on connecting with them as much as possible during your performance.
By following these simple strategies, you should be able to stay calm in front of an audience and overcome any stage fright you may feel. With enough practice and preparation, you’ll quickly gain confidence and become an effective presenter!
The positive and useful aspects of fearing public speaking
You might be wondering: How come I am supposed to give a presentation or a lecture? And is performance anxiety supposed to be helpful? Yes. You can perform at your peak because adrenaline, the stress hormone, is also present. It will be much easier to go on stage if you can transform your nervousness into positive energy minutes before you perform. This will allow you to perform in front of an audience.
Tips on stage fright before the day of the performance
You can set a time limit to feel nervous.
You will feel anxious before a performance. However, it is normal to be anxious. The longer you allow yourself to panic, the more anxious and stressed you will become. Allow yourself to feel anxious for a brief time. Set a timer so that you don’t get too nervous. Then, move on to something more active such as drinking tea or warming up your body.
Imagine your ideal performance.
Imagine yourself performing. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself playing every note and connecting with everyone in the audience. Positive visualizations can help you feel calm and set you up for success. Your brain is extremely powerful. You can make it work for yourself.
Exercise to release endorphins
Performers are likely to exercise regularly, so don’t let your routine get in the way of performing. These endorphins are vital. Go to the gym, run, or take up dancing lessons–whatever suits you best. Exercise is one of your best anxiety-management tools. Don’t do too much and you will soon tire. You can save some energy for the show.
You can watch something funny to make yourself laugh.
You can watch YouTube videos of dogs playing in deep snow. You can also exchange text messages with someone who makes you laugh. Laughter can produce endorphins, which are similar to exercise. Endorphins counter anxiety.
Your body naturally inhales faster when it is in fight-or-flight mode. Therefore, forcing yourself to breathe slower and more deeply can convince your body you are not in danger. Take a deep breath in and exhale through your lips. As this is soothing for your nervous system, you can set up a rhythm that your out-breath lasts twice the time as your in-breath.
Your body is filled with adrenaline before an audition or concert. You don’t need to get any more. Too much caffeine, like a third cup of coffee, can make you anxious. So, sip herbal tea and save the latte for later.
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What can you do to deal with stage fright?
It’s now time to give some tips and tricks that you can use before, during, or after performing alone or in front. These simple tips will help to relax and improve your performance, regardless of whether you’re a speaker, a singer, or the main act at an event.
Our subconscious often plays tricks on us, threatening us with stage fright. Our subconscious can be outsmarted. In the first step, tell yourself: Keep calm. It is possible to do what is before you. Obstacles seem larger when you are in stress mode.
Analyze the circumstances that led to performance anxiety. This step will make it easier to identify the root cause of your anxiety and fear of public speaking.
Take the time to prepare. You can feel confident in situations you know well, and you will be able to predict what happens. Security can help you forget about performance anxiety.
You can manage your stress levels by using relaxation techniques such as meditation and autogenic training. They encourage a positive approach towards stage fright and can help you relax and reduce your nervousness.
Mental strategies to combat performance anxiety
Positive mental strategies include affirmations, positive images, and thought journeys to your inner source of strength. This will help you to be more aware of your performance anxiety and can even change your outlook on your health.
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