Coping with Stage Fright

Coping with Stage Fright

Many people get butterflies before presenting, I know that I do. I get sweaty, my heart rate elevates and I feel a sense of excitement rush through me.

Personally I use that energy, I own it, and as I walk on stage and land my opening lines, that energy turns into a superpower, it makes my presentation come alive and carries me through to the end.

The reality is, cortisol, our fight or flight hormone will inevitably kick in whenever we are faced with something stressful, you are never going to be able to stop that, so learning how to both control and use its energy is the best that we can ever hope for.

Now here’s the trick, things get less frightening the more you do it, so practice, practice over and over again, deliver your presentation in front of a mirror, deliver it in front of your family, deliver it in front of your friends because repetition builds resilience.

And I don’t mean memorise your presentation word for word, That is a recipe for disaster and I have seen so many presenters lose their flow, their confidence and then the audience because they have forgotten an important line and then began to panic.

Instead, nail your opening, memorise those first fifteen seconds because if you deliver that perfectly, you will instantly relax. It’s like flicking a switch!

From there, know your main talking points, write it on your hand, put it on a post it note. You’ll be surprised just how quickly everything comes flooding back to you with nothing more than a tiny little prompt.

Finally, nobody wants to see you fail, many of your attendees will have done a presentation too and therefore know exactly how you are feeling. Don’t hold yourself to an impossible standard, you’re human, we make mistakes, and our emotions sometimes get the better of us.

You’re a Rockstar, own that stage!

Activity
Learn the art of relaxation and reduce stress in 30 seconds or less.
– Close your eyes or focus on one visual spot
– Breathe in slowly for 5 seconds, relax every inch of your body
– Exhale slowly, keep your eyes closed or focused on one visual sport
– Repeat