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How to Manage Stage Fright - Q&A with (Heather Hansen)
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Published on Mar 7, 2012
Hi, I'm Heather Hansen, Speech & Communication Specialist at Hansen Communication Lab.
Julius Solano recently sent me a question through Facebook, and it is such a great question, I wanted to share it with all of you here.
Julius wrote: When it comes to public speaking, how do you manage your stage fright?
Hmmm... Great question, Julius!
This is probably THE most common question I am ever asked, and here are my top 4 tips to managing stage fright:
Number One: BE PREPARED
Why are you so nervous? Probably because you're afraid you'll screw up, right? So the more you've practiced and the more prepared you feel, the less nervous you'll be. Preparation UP... Nervousness DOWN. Preparation DOWN... yep, you got it -- Nervousness UP. So practice, practice practice... and then practice some more!
Number Two: Remember that BEING NERVOUS IS NATURAL
Everyone is nervous to speak in public and butterflies in the stomach are good. They give you that extra bit of energy & excitement. There's something wrong if you don't feel them. I've been speaking in public since I was 11 and I still have butterflies every time - and I'm HAPPY to have them. Use your nervous energy to your advantage to enhance your performance.
Number Three: GIVE YOURSELF A PEP TALK
Really! I actually do this! I tell myself that I'm smart and talented and people can't wait to hear what I have to say. You are asked to speak for a reason. The audience is on your side and wants you to succeed. Remind yourself of this before your talk and be your own biggest supporter.
Number Four: QUIET NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
You can only focus on so many things at once, and there's a lot to think about and manage when you're speaking. Your brain simply doesn't have room for the negativity. Take a deep breath and release all of your self-doubt (which is where a lot of the anxiety is coming from) in an imaginary balloon that slowly floats away. It's still there, but don't entertain those thoughts while you're speaking. Your message is too important.
Bottom line: everyone has stage fright and everyone has a different way of managing it, but you MUST manage it somehow.
So, Julius, I hope these techniques can help you control your speaking jitters!! Please let me know how it goes, and thank you so much for your question!
If you have a speech or communication question that you'd like me to answer, you can contact me through my blogs or any of these social media sites. I'm always happy to help.
And while you're here, why don't you subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you don't miss any upcoming videos!
I'll see you next time!
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