5 Quick Hacks when Stage Fright hits
5 quick tricks that will ensure you can refocus your energy when you are speaking publicly and stage fright arrives.
It's the stuff of nightmares. You are giving an important speech at work, and stage fright rears its ugly head.
We have all heard the same tricks on how to prevent stage fright or combat it; Deep breaths, avoid direct eye contact.
BUT - when Stage Fright hits, most people find that imagining everyone is in their underwear, or trying to breathe slower - don't help.
Stage Fright can hit you in a matter of seconds. You can begin your presentation strong, and then suddenly your chest begins to feel tight and you begin to sweat, rush, and mess up your public speaking. This creates a never ending cycle of panic, where you only get worse and worse.....or do you? Here are 5 quick hacks to calm yourself when a bout of stage fright hits you mid-presentation.
1) DISTRACT YOUR MIND. In between points, look at objects around the room. In your head, say the name out loud. 'CLOCK, BIN, TABLE' - if you feel comfortable with your colleagues, you can even use their names. This distracts your mind from panicking about how you are performing between points, and allows you to refocus your mind.
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2) STAND STRONG. Plant your feet, like a tree, and stand upright, shoulders back. This is a confident stance, it psychologically tricks your body into thinking that you feel confident and strong, and you will!
3) ASK TO RESTART. Now, everyone thinks this is a bad thing. It's only a bad thing if your an actor, and its a big audition - they don't like restarters. But if you are giving a presentation to colleagues about something that they need to understand, they will appreciate you wanting to start for the following reasons: "Can I redo that slide? I feel like I wasn't as clear as I wanted to be." "This one is really important, I'm just going to go over that one again."
This allows you to redo moments and feel more confident, whilst also showing your audience that you care about how the information is reaching them.
4) LOOK ABOVE PEOPLE'S HEADS. We have all heard 'don't make eye contact' - now if you suffer with stage fright, people's eyes can make it even more frightening when they are fixed - staring at you. A little trick that makes it seem like you ARE looking at them, is look just above their head. Look at their hair, their hat, or their glasses resting on their hair. To them, you are looking at them directly.
5) MAKE A SMALL JOKE. Now, we know that jokes break the ice. They can also do wonders for your nerves, if you make a room laugh - you will feel much more at ease and ready to go with your speaking. Something like 'Shouldn't have had that 10th cup of coffee this morning.' This acknolwedges that you know you are nervous, as your audience has potentially noticed - they will now laugh with you and you can all continue together, feeling at ease.
There is plenty more where this came from! Also, I like to work with preventing stage fright from happening at all - so sign up to a session with Montana Plantier and we can get to grips with your public speaking, so you can go back to work (when this lockdown is over) a bigger, badder presenter!