TEDx talk

Conquering Stage Fright: A Guide to Overcoming Nervousness and Delivering a Powerful TEDx Talk

Nervous about your TEDx debut?

Our favorite TEDx speakers appear so at ease on stage leaving us wondering how they are able to achieve their seemingly effortless delivery.

No one should be intimidated by the thought of giving a TEDx talk but unfortunately, many people feel overwhelmed by the idea of speaking in front of such a large and influential audience.

Speaking at a TEDx event can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. I have had the opportunity to grace the red circle 6 times but am not surprised why your debut might rattle your nerves.

I am an introvert which may shock most people. If you are watching any of my content online you’ll see this very charismatic gregarious larger than life type of personality on stage, but I’m an introvert. Naturally you might wonder how an introvert goes from being a shy kid to a 6x TEDx Speaker and professional Emcee.

Stage fright is a form of fear and one of the most effective strategies to combat this particular fear is through practice and preparation. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, to be confident speaking at TEDx you will have to practice your script. Practice doesn’t only ‘make perfect’ it makes you consistent.

That’s why practicing is the #1 way to overcome your stage fright

The more you utilize effective practice strategies, the more you will enjoy positive recurring outcomes in anything you pursue. With this in mind let’s talk about How to practice for your TEDx talk.

Here are 5 practice strategies that will help you
conquer your stage fright and position you to
deliver a powerful TEDx talk!

TEDx talk

1 Record Audio Notes

When preparing my TEDx scripts one of my most frequently used practice strategies is recording short audio clips on my phone. After recording the audio note I will listen back to what I’ve just recorded to assess how well I can keep my own attention and convey emotion just using my voice.
I will then record the exact phrase, making adjustments where necessary, and then I listen back again to assess my progress. The more you repeat this process the better you will get and the happier you will be with the outcome. If you’re happier, this will lead to more confidence on stage.

Practice in the mirror

2 Practice the TEDx talk in the mirror

If you fear how you look on stage standing in front of a mirror while you practice can be a game changing strategy. You will gain an added boost of confidence and comfort if you wear the same outfit you intend to wear on stage. This helps you create the experience that most mirrors the real event. The mirror is your best ally helping you take note of intentional and unintentional expressions you make with your face and your body language. Also, make sure you remember to smile at yourself in the mirror for an added level of confidence.

3 Video yourself

I record a lot on camera and can’t recommend this strategy to you more. TEDx audiences often have the option to watch you with their own eyes or if they are further away they may choose to watch you on screens around the stage. Creating an opportunity for you to see how you look on video is an invaluable tool since your talk will be uploaded in video form on the TEDx website and YouTube channel.

After you record the video clip, re-watch it and adjust your voice and body language as necessary to control the effect you want to convey. The more I record myself and make small changes, the faster I have been able to see my own progress.

Visualize your audience

4 Visualize the audience

One of the most powerful confidence building techniques is visualization. While using the strategies above, start visualizing who will be in that TEDx audience. Visualize the room, the audience members and what you expect to see them wearing. In your mind’s eye, find a compassionate and kind person in the audience and smile at them. I promise it will make you feel more at ease.

5 Practice in front of friends and family

After you’ve rehearsed in front of the mirror, recorded audio & video, and then visualized your audience you will be ready to try out your talk in front of your most compassionate audience; your family and friends. Let a few of your most trusted friends and family know that you will be speaking at TEDx in the coming weeks. Also be honest and share that you are working towards overcoming your fear of being on stage.
Ask them to be a part of your mock audience and prep them to give you two types of feedback. First, you will want to hear positive notes from them to encourage you in the progress you’ve made up to that point. You will then want to ask them to give you constructive feedback through a positive lens to help you make adjustments in your future practice sessions.
Practicing in front of this warm audience will be your first opportunity to incorporate all of the small changes you have made in your tone and delivery, your facial expressions, body language, and to show your award winning smile.


The more you fear being on the TEDx stage the more you need to realize that winging it is not a viable option for you. If your preparation includes these 5 strategies I know you will feel more confident when you get on that TEDx Stage for the first time…or the 6th time.
If you want a more personalized approach to overcoming stage fright I would love to work with you. I offer a TEDx speech coaching program designed to help you prepare for the event. The program includes one-on-one coaching, speech critiques, and access to resources to help you practice and refine your script.
At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for overcoming stage fright. However, with the right combination of support and strategies you can conquer your fears and stand confidently on the TEDx stage.

Still nervous about your TEDx talk? don’t worry – My team and I are here to help you!  Get in touch today!

Dan Ram ignites the stage as an in-person event and virtual event MC/ Moderator & Speaker at over 100 events a year. He has shared the stage with international luminaries including President Barack Obama, Sir Richard Branson, Reid Hoffman, Nico Rosberg, and Grammy-winning artists and celebrities. He has also been recognized as a Top 40 under 40 leader 2020 as well as a Top 100 Yale Alumni in Technology 2021. He has dedicated 2023 to providing resources and coaching 500 international dreamers who are dedicated to launching new initiatives.  His passion is to inspire people with his motto ‘Start Now Start Simple’ in building a future we all want to live in. If you you are launching something new this year join #The500Club to receive resources and coaching from Dan!

3 thoughts on “Conquering Stage Fright: A Guide to Overcoming Nervousness and Delivering a Powerful TEDx Talk”

  1. For most of my adult life I have struggled with Stage fright when giving presentations at work. Now I see it might partially be because I am not incorporating a wide varieties of methods when practicing. Thanks for this list!!

    1. Good to know you identified the reason for your struggle. Happy to help. Will look forward to your comment Bristol.

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