Stage fright how to overcome it

Stage Fright Uncovered: Shedding Light on the Fear That Silences Performers

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What is stage fright?

Public speaking is termed the No 1 fear of humans. It’s officially known as “Glossophobia” – the fear of public speaking. So how can we overcome stage fright or public speaking anxiety?

While writing this resource we have been pondering this question for a long time. You might be thinking, Why? Well, To solve a challenge, first, we need to understand the problem. Google gives a technical textbook definition, which definitely won’t help us. We took an experiential approach by interviewing beginners, experienced speakers and self-analyzed our experience. This is what we explored: Stage fear is nothing but heightened self-awareness, a mental battle of self-doubt, and fear of not being accepted by the audience or fear in different forms. And yeah, the reptilian brain or lizard brain has a major role behind it.

Self-awareness is one of the powerful tools for personal growth. Part of self-awareness happens while we are on stage. We specifically mentioned “part of” because there are many aspects of self-awareness. While we are on stage we become self-aware of our body movements.

1) Heightened Self-awareness

It’s good to be self-aware but you can only handle it by experiencing it more often.  So how can you experience it more often? 

 For example: Walking on the stage:  A simple activity that we do all our life unconsciously, we just get aware of it, which is a good thing. The problem arises when we are not used to it. And we try to question ourselves. I hope I am walking the right way, I hope my body language is right, Why am I sweating so badly? Do I sound this way all the time or it’s just happening because I am on stage?

SECRET TIP: While you are practicing at home, close your eyes and practice. Suppose you are practicing your speech 6 times, in that 2 times close your eyes and practice. You will start noticing your movements and you will be used to it. So while you are on stage, it’s no longer a strange experience. This trick works for many professional speakers. If you have any other tricks please share them with us in the comment section.

2) The mental battle of self-doubt

All the possible questions of self-doubt appear in your mind while you are on stage or especially a few minutes before you go on stage. If we give you a task to write content on all self-doubt questions, you will be a champion in it. It’s natural and normal to have self-doubt thoughts. It happens to everyone when trying something new. But the problem arises when you start answering those questions in your mind or when you start visualizing those things happening. 

You need to understand the psychology of thoughts. They are just recycling information in your mind. 

For example: You watch a horror movie and a few hours later scary thoughts arise in your mind.

Thoughts are powerless. They are just information. The moment you start answering them, visualizing them, or trying to get rid of them, you give them more power and it grows stronger. The human mind cannot delete, subtract or remove anything, it can only add or multiply. So whenever a negative thought appears, replace it with 3 positive ones. You need to overpower negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

Scenario 1:
You have to deliver a speech in the next 5 minutes and you have prepared well for a week.

Thoughts that may arise:
The previous speaker’s speech was really good. Is my speech good enough?

I hope I won’t forget my speech. I think I will screw up.

Whenever negative thoughts appear, just replace them with 3 positive ones.

Everyone’s journey is different. I might not be as good as another speaker at this point in time but still, I will go there on stage, deliver my speech and improve it.

If I forget my speech, it’s okay, I have my notes in my pocket. I can refer to it.

I have prepared very well, I know I won’t forget it.


3) Fear of not being accepted by the audience

This happens more often while we are delivering a speech or expressing our way of looking at life. It’s natural to have these thoughts. You need to understand everyone has their own perspective and that’s why we are unique and that’s what makes you unique. So don’t overthink about it, just go on to that stage and give your best. If your perspective is of value, people will love it. If not nothing is going to happen.   

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