By Sangeetha Shreekar
We are delighted to be organising and attending the live events. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush like the face-to-face events, however taking over the stage and captivating the audience is a concept which might be forgotten as we had got comfortable behind a zoom call addressing.
Stage fright is a concept that many of us have dealt with, and few have overcome and termed as performing anxiety which is linked to even the biggest celebrity in every industry. The most common outcome of it would be the scenario of flight or fight response, let us tell you how to embrace the fight response.
Here are the comprehensive list of tools/task to take up in dealing with stage fright:
- BREATHE: The emphasis is on the ‘correct’ type of breathing to calm your mind and body before going on stage. The method is called ‘Belly Breathe’ – the technique to breathe diaphragmatically which involves fully engaging the stomach, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm when breathing. This means actively pulling the diaphragm down with each inward breath.
- SHIFT FOCUS, REFOCUS: Focus on the delivery and the topic rather than self-doubt. Remember that the audience is unaware of your anxiety and are there for the sole purpose of your delivery. Concentrate on the topic to be delivered, read the room to make eye contact with the audience.
- PRACTICE: Practice makes human perfect! It definitely works and what better than the mirror rehearsals for a quick check on your own body language while delivery. You could also record your rehearsal and view it from the audience perspective for speed, gestures and flow of content.
- IMPROVISE: Learn to go with the flow, anxiety will become less focused. Hit the wrong line? jumped a topic? the audience doesn’t have to know. You could always tell the audience that you are nervous, it will calm you down. Talk don’t present. It is not the speech to be read, the audience are there for you they need to feel your energy.
- VISUALISE: Positive visualisation is the key to success. The more you visualise a positive outcome, the better prepared you are for the stage. Replaying scenarios, anticipating queries will make you better prepared for the live audience.
- MOVE: The speaking nerves also triggers the stress hormones which tends to build up as you stand still in one spot, try to manoeuvrer the stage by walking around. ‘Moving while delivering’ is the secret body language for powerful public speaking.
Although it may be impossible to overcome stage fright altogether, with practice and the right frame of mind, it’s possible to set it aside and deliver a well-crafted and memorable speech or presentation.