As a child, did you dread being called by the teacher to come to the front and read aloud? Or do you feel nervous when you have to speak to a number of people that are not your close friends? Do you suddenly get cold and sweaty before talking on stage? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then know that you are not alone. In fact, even athletes and popular personalities suffer from stage fright or performance anxiety.
Performance anxiety or stage fright might keep you from accomplishing what you want to do and have a negative impact on your career, especially if you dream of becoming a public speaker. Worse yet, it can have a severe impact on your self-esteem and confidence. Although it may be hard to completely eliminate performance anxiety, there are a number of things you can do to manage your emotions and lessen worry. Here are some of them.
Close your eyes and visualize yourself on stage. You’re making eye contact with everyone in the audience, engaging and connecting with them, and nailing every part of your presentation. These types of pleasant visions not only help you relax, but they also assist you with achieving your dream performance. This is called positive visualisation.
Nothing beats being prepared when it comes to easing stage fright. Before your public speaking engagement, understand your subject, your speech, and, most importantly, your target audience. You have no cause to be afraid if you know what you’re talking about.
Knowing what you’re talking about will help you speak more effortlessly and confidently. Furthermore, if a technical issue arises, you will be unfazed because you are already knowledgeable about the subject.
Knowing your material can help, but it won’t always solve the problem. Before the performance or public speaking date, you should rehearse as much as possible. Know your material inside and out and practice as much as possible (ideally in front of a live audience) to gain confidence.
Your body is pumped with adrenaline before an event or speaking engagement, so there’s no need to keep charging yourself up with caffeine and other stimulants. In fact, too much caffeine (such as that third cup of coffee) might make you feel uncomfortable, so opt for herbal tea instead of the latte.
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