Have you always wanted to perform on stage -- but been too scared to do it? It seems you are getting stage fright. Once you get onto the stage, it seems your brain stops working. You stutter, forget your lines, or sometimes, just start laughing or shake all over, and your voice quivers. There is a way to overcome these reactions.
- Know your stuff! The best thing you can do is to be overwhelmingly, thoroughly, and completely prepared and in mastery of your material. Much of the fear comes from wondering if you will make a mistake, or if the audience will know more than you. There is one sure way to beat that and that is by knowing your material inside and out.
- Focus on getting through the first five minutes. That is where the problem lies. Rarely do you see someone who seems fearful all the way through his or her presentation. Most of us settle in and get comfortable after a while. Don’t look at it as a fifty-minute speech. Look at it as a five-minute speech.
- Breathe! Fear is a bodily reflex and one that you can overcome. When you get afraid, you start to breathe in short, fast breaths. Before you speak, or while you are being introduced, you should sit quietly and breathe slow, deep breaths.
- Tell yourself that the world won’t fall apart if you do a rotten job. Even professional speaker sometimes, I don’t do as well as I want to. People usually appreciate it anyway and you’ll keep right on going.
- Understand that you are your own worst critic. Most people aren't going to come to your presentation with the goal of picking you apart. So you shouldn't pick yourself apart either.
- Understand that most of the people in the audience would be scared to death to give a speech too, and are glad that it is you and not them!
- Make ‘em laugh. That is the best way to start with a crowd. It is not necessary that joke has to be related t your presentation topic. A laugh always settles the crowd in and they and you both become more relaxed because all of you laughed together.