Basic Tips II - Stage Fright

So you read and practiced the Overcoming your Fright Tips 1 and feel you need more input? Read on to stop your stage apprehension...

7. Reduce self-criticism

Assessing yourself in a critical way, you learn a lot and find out what can be improved. But it should be at the right time and on a sound measure.

The right time is not during or before your performance. This is showtime! And it's time to reap the fruits. It is not of any use to play down your skills or to look for weak points in the hours of the performance.

During this time your view is strongly biased. For unbiased and helpful criticism you can record yourself while practicing and watch it afterward.

Even better, ask others for their honest opinions. They are for sure more realistic than you are.

If you fear dishonest praise from beloved people, just ask an expert of the field. He needs not even to be "better" than you. Just another perspective will show you options for your progress.

During practice lessons you can then sow what you want to reap later. Avoiding self-criticism during performance really helps to reduce perfomance anxiety.

8. The audience - Gosh, I hoped they had gone home!

I told you about the audience some paragraphs before. Having people in front of you when performing is the principle point in stage anxiety. There are many more things you can do about them, or better with them.

First of all, they are not against you. So don't think weird stuff like "They would like me to fail, they only wait for a mistake with their critical faces." In fact, they came here for the joy and to see your success.

You already have their support. Even if you were the notorious fool, they'd have come to see the comedy and not your small mishaps.

Second, their concentration is put on the whole and on the entertainment of the performance. They do not dissect each of your movement. And you should stop analyzing yourself, too. As long as you don't mess it up completely you are really on the right way.

When you give a talk, for example in your company, it is not the joy the audience seeks, but rather the information you communicate. But still, they are on your side.

And if they are not - and this will make you even more relaxed and overcome the fright - they chatter or play with their smartphones. Avoid misinterpreting faces and gestures. For sure, your view is biased. People are far less often mean and critical.

9. Let your body speak (to you)!

It seems very easy to recognize confident people who surely have overcome stage apprehension. They look right into the faces of their audience, walk motivated and stand straight.

Contrarily, people who fear performing look down to the ground, they walk slowly as paralyzed by the fear and make a rather sad impression. They are (de)pressed to a smaller size.

Interestingly, these are not just superficial appearances. These features are encoded in our brains. And they function back and forth via nerves going to and coming from the body.

We hang down our head because we feel bad, and we feel bad since our head hangs down. Feeling sorry for yourself amplifies the bad mood. But guess what? You can use this effect for your advantage.

Lift your mood by lifting up your body. Stand straight. Walk fast and surely. Talk loud and confident. And smile.

All of this will reflect in your feeling and mindset. Especially the smile. It is instant luck, instant karma. It can spread out while reflecting on other faces.

10. Allow midstakes!

A cause of your nervousness is the pressure you put on yourself. You prohibit to make absolutely no mistake so that the audience has no reason to laugh or look critically. And you think that this will deliver a perfect show? And you expect this being effective for getting over stage fear?

The opposite is the case. Have you ever seen people who are perfect and make no mistakes? If so, this must have been a cold and frigid encounter.

A show without mistakes may make you an unreachable star. But this is not what you want. You want to be understood and seen as human. No mistakes mean you are a robot. This also makes the audience feel uncomfortable.

A performance with little mistakes makes you appear more realistic and full of life. I have heard of a cover band who play original Beatles gigs of the 60s and 70s with genuine clothing, guitars, eyeglasses and even the mistakes of the original gigs.

That must be cool! I guess they realized they have practiced too much and now put some credibility back into their show.

Talk to yourself as recommended earlier! The question is not if you mess it up completely. You have practiced. The question is if you let nature take its course and live your true life even on stage. This will make you overcome stage fear.

Overcome Your Fright - Get it faster

Be sure to practice one or the other tip for you progress with overcoming stage apprehension. Still, it will be no piece of cake. It can be months and years even when applying the most advanced tricks to get your brain doing what it should. Read on to learn how to => Overcome Stage Apprehension Faster <= This technique uses self-hypnosis for fighting stage nervousness. And it is one of the most powerful ways to rid your performance anxiety.

above images in order of occurence:
(c) pixelio / uschi dreiucker
(c) pixelio / Antje Strathmann Finweg
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