Dry mouth, blushing, trembling, sweaty hands.
Bryan hadn’t even stepped on stage yet and he was struggling to breath.
He’d practiced day and night. He’d visualized every possible scenario. He’d become comfortable talking about his subject matter.
So what was wrong?
The immediate prospect of talking in front of 20-or-so people had reduced him to a quivering mess. It was unlikely to get better once he was on stage.
As the MC introduced him, Bryan took a step forward and noticed his legs shaking violently.
Do you experience stage fright?
Stage fright is a state of overwhelming anxiety.
Most commonly stage fright presents with the prospect of having to speak or act in front of an audience.
For some, stage fright can be completely incapacitating.
If you have to deliver a speech, especially if you are not used to doing speeches, stage fright can wreak havoc on your body and health.
Fortunately, there is a solution to stage fright that is easy to implement. It’s not the kind of solution you regularly hear about though. Let’s first take a look at the usual-suspects that get trotted out a stage fright “cures”.
Typical stage fright cures
Typically, the following three items are given as stage fright cures:
- Breathing control
- Visualizing your success
- Imagining the audience naked
While these techniques can help with stage fright they can’t eradicate it. In the moment, when you are standing on stage, none of these things will get rid of the catastrophic thoughts racing through your mind.
The 1-trick-solution to stage fright
What if you could deliver an awesome speech regardless how much stage fright you have in the lead up to it?
How would that make you feel?
What if you could learn a quick and easy solution to deliver an awesome speech even if you are feeling like you’re ready to collapse just before you walk on stage?
Well, you can. It’s so simple, you’ll probably kick yourself once you hear what it is. Give it a try in your next speech or presentation and see how you go.
Here it is:
The problem with stage fright is all eyes are on you. Suddenly you have a feeling that everyone is just waiting for you to make a mistake.
But, what if you could change the focus? Instead of the focus being on you, change the focus to the audience. Instead of you feeling like you are on trial, test the audience.
Start your speech or presentation by asking the audience a question. Don’t move on until they have answered it.
Asking the audience a question, interacting with the audience, will help you to feel more comfortable on stage. If you ask a question which will help get the audience on your side you’ll go a long way to removing any stage fright you had. Ask a question where the audience can tell you empathize with them.
Maybe you are doing a speech about a business process improvement project you are working on. You could start by asking a question like this:
Like me, are you tired of the extra work you have to do just submit your project updates?
Simple! The 1-trick-solution to overcoming stage fright!
Let me know what you think in the comments below.