5 tips for dealing with performance anxiety
Time to give that toast and suddenly hands start sweating and shaking, stomach starts lurching, and worse yet the mind starts to spin. Guess what? That is performance anxiety or stage fright at work! It is normal, natural, and it is the singular most common fear in the world. Even people that perform in front of audiences for a living experience it some degree or another at various times in their career. There are some tried and true tricks for reducing the anxiety and making that speech, presentation, or moment in the spotlight less terrifying.
- Prepare! Rarely is someone going to have to perform in front of an audience without at least some advance warning. Practice what ever it is that is to be performed until completely comfortable with the material be it speech related, music related, or other form of performance related.
- Be Your Own Fan! Say things like “I can do this” or “I know that I am ready” instead of letting the voice of fear creep in. Being one's own fan is a huge step in reducing stage fright.
- Don't panic! Mistakes happen. Even practiced professionals make mistakes. Don't let one mistake rattle the nerves so bad that going on is impossible. Remember its quite likely that no one else even noticed the mistake! Don't panic and just carry on.
- Remember to breath! Breathing will help retain focus and calm the nerves. It will also prevent an embarrassing moment of passing out on stage. Remembering to keep breathing calmly will help considerably in controlling one's nerves.
- Have fun with it! This could be fun if it is allowed to be. Its just a momentary thing and it will be over soon. Instead of making it this huge, horrible thing in one's mind try to look at it as a chance to express one's self and branch out in experience. Try to talk about something that is enjoyed, or to perform a piece that is loved. That will make the whole experience more fun for the performer and make them more comfortable with performing in general.
Performance anxiety happens to everyone but with some planning and use of some or all of these tips it can be gotten through with ease.
The performance will be done before anyone knows it!