As you already know, public speaking is one of the biggest fears people have. Even celebrities who make their living performing in public have bouts of stage fright. Barbra Streisand and Rod Stewart have had well-publicized negative experiences, and it goes to show you that even millionaire singers aren’t superhuman. Almost everyone experiences a bit of stage fright to a certain degree. It usually manifests itself in increased sweating, raised body temperature, and heightened heart rate. At its worst, it can ruin your performance or prevent you from getting up on stage in the first place. The only thing worse than stage fright is the feeling you get when you realize your performance has gone awry and there’s no way to turn back time. Let’s take a look at how we can stop that from happening in the first place.
Everyone gets nervous – as mentioned before, even big-time celebrities get stage fright occasionally. Sometimes they even experience it to a degree much higher than you ever will.
After all, chances are you aren’t performing in front of thousands of people while being reviewed by internet bloggers or magazine writers. The fact is getting up on stage is a relatively unnatural thing. You’re not supposed to feel comfortable, and that’s why there’s such a reward when you make it through a performance. It’s a high like nothing else because you’ve done something extraordinary. So don’t beat yourself up or interpret it as being cowardly – it’s definitely not.
The anticipation is the worst – most people find that once they get up on stage, the fear subsides substantially. Once they’re in the middle of a performance whether it’s public speaking or singing a karaoke song, the nerves begin to calm down. It’s those few moments beforehand that are the hardest to deal with. That’s when you start to imagine all kinds of horrible things happening to you up on stage. If you can manage to get past this anticipation, you should find that things get a lot easier.
Visualization and preparation – it’s vital that you prepare properly whether you’re doing a presentation or singing in front of people. It helps to arrive at your event early and to scope out the place. It’s good to get an adequate idea of sight lines while knowing where the audience will be. It can also calm your nerves to talk to any other performers or whoever will be in charge of the sound system. In terms of visualization, imagine yourself up on stage so that it’s not so foreign when you actually get up there. More importantly, visualize yourself succeeding at your task.
Breathing and posture – there are important physical factors connected to singing and speaking. It’s really a matter of simple biology and how your lungs, voice, and posture work together. It’s vital that you maintain good body posture while pacing yourself throughout your performance. A lot of people don’t realize that their body reacts when they’re nervous or scared. Sometimes people end up on stage hunched over or staring at the floor. This can have a dramatic effect on the sound of your voice and how it comes out of the microphone.
Fighting your fears – the most unfortunate thing about fighting fears is that you have to face exactly what you’re scared of. In other words, if public speaking or singing terrifies you, the only real cure is to do more of it. That sounds pretty unfair doesn’t it? A lot of people will never bother to face their fears in this way. But for those whose occupations depend on it, it’s entirely possible to improve your stage presence in front of other people. It takes a lot of practice, enough courage to fight your fears, and a good support system. Just remember – it does get easier with time, and there are lots of other people in the exact same boat. It might take a bit of work, but being able to speak or sing in front of a crowd of strangers is an incredible skill to possess if you can develop it.
One of the best ways to overcome stage fright at home is with a personal karaoke machine. It’s a good way to practice whether you’re performing a song, or getting ready for a spoken presentation. Hearing the sound of your own voice amplified with the microphone goes a long way to getting you ready – especially if your performance involves singing.