Is there a cure for stage fright? Yes, indeed!

What you can do against stage fright
Everyone knows stage fright! Your heart starts racing, your hands get wet, you blush and you are afraid to fail. That’s not bad at all and there are tricks you can do to get a grip on stage fright.
Stage fright is good, would you have thought that? Because the body produces more adrenaline in these moments, increasing performance and concentration. So all you have to do is manage to get the oppressive feeling under control so it doesn’t get the upper hand. How to do that? We from DIKT put together some tips for you against stage fright!

With every speech you’re holding you get more and more familiar with the situation and you will learn to stand the anxiety!

The big moment is near, the heart is running at full speed with 150 or more beats per minute. So you can’t really enjoy the moment. Calm down!
First aid here: use simple and effective relaxation exercises. They help best:
Breathe in and out slowly at least eight times. Only concentrate on the exhalation, like in yoga or Thai Chi.
Hold your breath for two to three seconds after each inhalation. You will notice how your breathing and heart rate will calm down.
And if that does not help, clench your hands in fists and hold them tight for a few seconds. Then release the tension. Repeat this process until you are calm and concentrated.

Hands and arms
And speaking of hands: what do I do best with my arms and hands? I wouldn’t want the public to see me shaking.

Sometimes we realise that our hands become trembling in stage fright. Therefore never use big paper as a notepad. Because the bigger the paper, the more clearly the shaking.  Smaller (moderation) cards as known from tv show hosts are definitely better in this case.  Always keep your arms close to your body. Because once they are hanging, they will tremble even more. Keep your hands busy with gestures, like in a regular talk with a friend or neigbor. That also calms you down.

Stage fright does the most insane things to us. If the voice fails again, vocal cord care is called for: Cough once consciously and deeply and then gargle with warm water. This makes the coating look very old.
By the way, you can also drink half a glass of warm tap water to loosen and soften your vocal chords. And if your voice vibrates in the highest sounds and trembles, it is a sign to speak louder. Because this automatically makes the vocal chords sit tighter in the saddle!

Dry Mouth
The mouth feels dry as a desert, the tongue is tired and dried up well. Stage fright is not good for your saliva. So please don’t drink coffee, milk or other sweet drinks before a performance and avoid salty or spicy meals. To keep the tongue smoothly in motion, always have a glass of non-carbonated water near you. Beware of the fizz – because you need the least amount of carbonation.

Skin redness
A common phenomenon with stage fright is blushing in the face. Suddenly, so much blood rushes up the throat that it becomes very hot. For most of us this is very embarrassing and puts us off our game completely. But think about: Who really notices it? Who would really care. It’s absolutely normal. And in moste cases you notice it much more than anybody else. So, keep a cool head and just keep going on!

Seeing a person with huge sweat spots under his arms makes most people in the audiences feel uncomfortable. Stage fright promotes the flow of sweat, that natural. Even more if you’re wearing tight clothes and you have eaten spicy meals before your stage appearance. So choose your wardrobe accordingly. Sweat stains are less noticeable with a light shirt than with a grey or blue one. A hankerchief for spotting your forehead for in between can also be useful.

Train and get used to it
Being in front of an audience is for most people exciting and stressful. But if you train the situation several times beforehand you will be much more confident and calm. Have a look for a good communcations or media trainer next to you. If you do not find one, send me an email and I will recommend you a colleague near you.

About the autor: Nikolai A. Behr is …

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