Stage Fright

Want to Speak Like a Pro? 5 Practical Ways to Overcome Stage Fright

I’m not surprised by the idea that speaking on a stage sparks fear in may but I didn’t realize that a significant number of people fear public speaking more than death. This got my gears turning this week to see how I could help and today I’m sharing the #1 way to feel more confident on stage.

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, to be successful in anything in life you have to practice your craft. 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 practice, with the right strategies, the more you can be sure that you will have positive recurring outcomes in anything you pursue. With practicing being so vital it is important to talk about How and What to practice.

Here are 5 practice strategies to help you overcome your fear of speaking on stage

Record Audio Notes

One of my most frequently used and favorite 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 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.

Audio Notes

Practice in the mirror

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

Video Yourself

Video yourself

I record a lot on camera and can’t recommend this strategy to you more. 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 in an age where video dominates many interactions online and in-person. 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

Visualize the audience

One of the most powerful confidence building techniques is visualization. While using the strategies above, start visualizing who will be in the audience. Visualize the room, the audience members and what you expect to see them wearing at the event. 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 a lot more at ease.

Practice in front of friends and family

After you’ve gone through the steps of rehearsing in front of the mirror, recording audio & video, and then visualizing your audience you will be ready to try out your talk in front of a real audience. Your friends and family will be your most compassionate audience. Let a few of your most trusted friends and family know that you have an event coming up and 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.

Conclusion

The more you fear being on stage the more you need to realize that winging it is not a viable option if you want to be successful speaking in front of an audience. When you practice with an analytical mindset your enjoyment of the sessions will increase. The more details you can become aware of, the less monotonous your practice will be. If your preparation includes these 5 strategies I know you will feel more confident the next time you speak in front of an audience.

If you want more help overcoming your stage fright or leveling up as a communicator I would love to work with you. Get in touch today!

Keep yourself accountable to practicing these strategies with this 5 Practice Methods to overcome Stage fright

Once you are more confident on stage you will be ready for my downloadable resource: How to get my first paid speaking gig checklist.


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.  Level up your communication skills through his course and mastermind  “Speaking Success”.  His passion is to inspire people with his motto ‘Start Now Start Simple’ in building a future we all want to live in.

8 thoughts on “Want to Speak Like a Pro? 5 Practical Ways to Overcome Stage Fright”

  1. I love how you take us on a journey from practicing in front of the mirror and audio notes all the way to practicing in front of our friends and family. Rather than throw up our hands and think we can never feel comfortable onstage you’ve given us a roadmap for success. Awesome stuff!

  2. Thanks so much for the tips. In my journey as a speaker they are quite handy. Visualizing the audience is something that I find quite helpful. Thanks Dan Ram.

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