“The human brain is a wonderful thing. It startsworking the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.” - George Jessel
Stage fright is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia whichmay be aroused in an individual by the requirement toperform in front of an audience, whether actually orpotentially.
Fear of Public Speaking has been rated as the #1 fear in America. Some say it is more feared than death. If you have this fear you share it with millions and millions of people. Many people suffering from fear of public speaking believe that they are alone in feeling so frightened. The truth is that most people just dont want to talk about their fear of being in front of a group.
Called by many names - A. stage fright B. speech anxiety C. shyness D. fear of speaking E. performance anxiety F. Speech phobia Fear of public speaking canhave a negative effect oncareers and the ability to getthings done, and therefore onyour success.
What happenswhen you have to speak in public?
Did you experience a mental blackout? Did your heart beat faster than usual? Did you feel your blood rushing to your head and to your cheeks?
Were you at a loss for breath? Was there a sensation of butterflies flitting in your stomach? Were you perspiring more than usual?
Were your hands cold? Were your hands trembling? Was your body tense? Did you lose your voice?
You are suffering from stage fright if you have:Dry mouth Tight throat Sweaty hands Cold hands Give me a handShaky hands (Oops, I couldnt Nausea (Sickness) Fast pulse resist) Shaky knees Trembling lips Punjabians
Most people experience stage fright. Stage fright affects most people in physical ways Dry mouth Tight throat Sweaty hands Cold hands Shaky hands Nausea Fast pulse Shaky knees Trembling lips Fear of success
Inadequate preparation Fear of being judged Unfamiliarity with the audience or the environment Lack of knowledge about public speaking Feelings of inadequacy Fear of the unknown Negative past experiences
It is an unusual fearfulfeeling that everyonegoes through whenfaced with an importanttask.
1- NONE 2- VERY SLIGHTLY 3- SLIGHTLY 4- INTENSE 5- VERY INTENSE___1. weak voice___2. shortness of breath___3. awkward pauses___4. preference to look up/down___5. rapid heartbeats___6. playing with pen/hanky
1- NONE 2- VERY SLIGHTLY 3- SLIGHTLY 4- INTENSE 5- VERY INTENSE___7. no eye contact with the audience___8. moving too much___9. trembling hands___10. feeling cold___11. inability to think clearly___12. dry mouth and throat
1- NONE 2- VERY SLIGHTLY 3- SLIGHTLY 4- INTENSE 5- VERY INTENSE___13. no facial expression___14. wanting to end speech___15. to fast rate of speech___16. feeling dizzy___17. feeling awkward and clumsy___18. perspiring too much
1- NONE 2- VERY SLIGHTLY 3- SLIGHTLY 4- INTENSE 5- VERY INTENSE___19. feeling nervous___20. shaking voice
100 – 80: Do not worry; all is not lost. Speaking skills are required. With your teacher’s help and conscientious efforts on your part you will yet become a good speaker. 79- 59: Good! However, you have to spend more time preparing yourself for public speaking.
58 – 38:Very Good! With a little more training, you will become a better speaker37-20: Congratulations! You are potentially an effective speaker.
Most detrimental - catastrophising:“I think I am going to faint”“I’m sure to make a dreadful mistake and that will ruineverything”Best kind - realistic appraisal:“I’m bound to make a few mistakes, but so does everyone.”“The audience wants me to play well and will make allowancefor a few slips”.
HOW YOU CAN DO IT…
HOW YOU CAN DO IT…•Be in the room early.•Yawn to relax your throat.•Doodle.•Breathe deeply, evenly, and slowly for several minutes.•Dont drink caffeinated drinks.•Go somewhere private and warm up your voice, muscles, etc.
• Concentrate on how good you are.• Pretend you are just chatting with a group of friends.• Close your eyes and imagine the audience listening, laughing, and applauding• Remember happy moments from your past.• Think about your love for and desire to help the audience. Punjabians
• Even if you do not like the topic, develop an interest in it.• Be extremely well-prepared.• Anticipate hard and easy question.• Organize.• Memorize your opening statement.• Practice. Punjabians
• Be in the room at least an hour early, if possible, to triple check everything.• Concentrate on searching for current and immediate things that are happening at the event that you can mention during your speech (especially in the opening).• Get into conversation with people near you.• Look at your notes.• Take a quick walk.• Concentrate on the ideas.• Concentrate on your audience.• Hide speaking notes around the stage area so you know you have a backup if you happen to draw a blank.• Shake hands and smile with attendees before the program.• Double-check your A/V equipment• Say something to someone to make sure your voice is ready to go.• Go somewhere private and warm up your voice, muscles, etc.• Go to a mirror and check out how you look.• Breathe deeply, evenly, and slowly for several minutes. Punjabians
• If your legs are trembling lean on a lectern/table of shift your legs or move about.• Dont hold notes.• Use eye contact.• Look at the friendliest faces in the audience.• Do not comment on your nervousness. Punjabians
• If your presentation is being videotaped before a live audience, ignore the camera. Likewise, if you are being interviewed before a camera, the viewer expects to see you communicating with your ‘live’ audience or interviewer.• If you are interviewed by a television reporter, keep your comments short and to the point.• If you must face a hostile interview on- camera, avoid the appearance of surprise. The only preparation is to expect an opening question that is hostile, direct, admissions, or Punjabians explanations.
• To unlearn the unwanted physical reactions associated with stage fright, you must practice performance before an audience.• Mold your attitude around all your successes. Remember what success feels like, what it looks like.• Even when you perform in a less than stellar fashion, remember the parts you did that were outstanding.• Replace negative attitudes with positive ones. A positive attitude will lead you to seek any help you may need to improve. A negative attitude shackles your personal and professional life.• Decide beforehand that it will be a fun experience. Punjabians
Try not to hold the microphone by hand inthe first minute. Dont hold notes. The audience can seethem shake. Use three-by-five cards instead. Use eye contact. It will make you feel lessisolated. Look at the friendliest faces in theaudience. Joke about your nervousness. Whats theright wine to go with fingernails?
Speak Up! Make sure to speak a little louderthan normal conversation when you are givingyour speech. Slow Down! When you are giving your speechto your listeners, remember to slow your speechdown a little bit and dont rush through the words.Make sure to enunciate and dont slur your wordseither. Be Confident! You can do this! Believe inyourself!
Understanding presentational anxietyand applying some of these techniquesand suggestions will help you overcomethe more paralyzing forms of stage fright.They might become very useful whenyou give your next speech.
Know the room Know the audience Know your material Relaxation Visualize giving your speech Gain experience
People want you to succeed Don’t apologize Concentrate on your message-not the medium. Turn nervousness into positive energy