Have you ever had to give a speech? Maybe you were asked to give a presentation at a meeting at a work. Did you find yourself trembling with fear?
There are lots of symptoms of stage fright or communication anxiety. Some of them include sweaty palms, butterflies in your stomach, hot flashes, or stuttering. And there are a ton of additional symptoms.
Stage fright is very personal for those suffering from it. So how do you conquer it? How do you master your fear? There are several tricks that you can employ to make your presentation run smoothly.
First, you have to accept that fear is normal. 90% of all Americans claim that they get nervous when speaking in front of a crowd. So, if you feel a little nervous, you are normal. A little bit of fear can actually help make your presentation better.
Fear causes adrenaline which makes you speak more clearly and react more quickly when things go wrong. Problems only occur if you let your fear control you.
One long standing piece of advice has always been to picture your audience naked, but this really isn’t the best advice. This is more likely to make you giggle, than to help control your fear. This strategy is really just a distraction, and not a pretty one.
So what should you do? Practice. Practice. Practice. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will feel. Do not assume that you will figure out what you want to say when you get up in front of the crowd. This will surely end badly.
There is nothing like the glare of a spotlight to make your words dry up. And once you stumble, it is very hard to recover. If you do stumble, take a deep breath. You will feel like panicking, but it is very important to stay calm.
Pausing for just a minute in your presentation to gather your thoughts is much more important that rushing. One deep breath can help you recover quickly, and put your presentation back on track.
If you are in a small room, you might find looking directly at your audience causes more fear. This can be problematic, because most people solve the problem by staring at the floor or ceiling. This causes your audience to disengage and become bored.
One solution is to look at the back wall of the room. Your audience will be tricked into thinking you are looking at them, when really you are staring at the wall.
Overall, stage fear is perfectly normal. Everyone feels a little nervous when they are putting themselves on display. The audience is judging you, so it’s very important to master your fear and project a confident demeanor.