A Cure for Stage Fright?


Courtesy of www.stateofdigital.com

Public speaking is extremely common in both men and women.

Juliette Fournier, Photojournalist

Imagine that you are about to do a presentation in class. You enter class feeling slightly nervous and are called to present. Suddenly, your heart starts pounding so fast you can hear it, your hands start to feel sweaty, your stomach hurts, and you’re actually shaking. Anyone with stage fright knows that feeling. Stage fright is the fear of public speaking which is usually caused by insecurities such as lack of self confidence, fear of rejection or ridicule, or feeling unprepared. Due to these, the body goes into a defensive mode that it uses when sensing danger or excitement, and it releases adrenaline throughout the body. Adrenaline is actually the cause for the symptoms of stage fright which can include stomach pain, vomiting, shaking, sweating, or heightened blood pressure. These are some ways to ease the symptoms of stage fright:

  1. Relax- Relaxing is key to lessening stage fright. It will help release tension and clear the mind. Some ways to do this is through yoga, meditation, or relaxation exercises before the presentation or concert.
  2. Breathe- Before a presentation, remember to breathe. If your heart is pounding fast, breathe in and out slowly for a few minutes. This will help slow the heart and relieve stress.
  3. Practicing- For anything in front of an audience, it is essential to be prepared. Practicing in front of other people or even in front of a mirror will help ease any anxiety or insecurity. It is also important to jump to every occasion to do a presentation or performance. Karissa Dole (10), who plays the violin, finds that “practice makes better. Every time [she does a performance], it becomes a lot easier and less nerve-racking.”
  4. Preparing yourself mentally- When nervous, think of something that is pleasing or comforting and focus on the purpose of the presentation. Making eye contact with someone encouraging in the audience can make you more calm. Realize that you are not alone. Stage fright affects about ninety percent of the population. Even some famous celebrities struggle from stage fright such as Adele, Rihanna, and Harry Styles.
  5. Entertain- Remember, the audience wants to be entertained, so add emotion to the performance. Be persuasive and intriguing to make the audience listen to what you are saying. Connect with them using body language or even interact with them. Doing this will make the crowd seem less intimidating and make you more relaxed.