Stage fright tips are useful for everybody who speaks, sings or acts in public whether on or off the stage.
Some people appear regularly on stage to entertain the public whilst others, like lawyers and politicians, go to courts, town halls and civic functions to perform their activities often in the presence of many onlookers.
I have big, big stage fright.
matter what particular forum you may appear in, in however a modest or major
role, you will know that stage fright sometimes intervenes and coping
strategies are necessary to see you through.
You can be assured of that from someone who knows for although I have not acted on stage, I have acted in another sense, that is to say, on behalf of clients in courts of law day in and day out for years, I have sung solo in public and made speeches and presentations before large gatherings.
Don’t think that because someone does all these things, and more regularly, that they are any less prone to stage fright than someone doing it for the first time.
They aren’t; but the people who succeed in what they do have coping strategies in place and use them.
What is the starting point? Before you perform any act in public make sure you know what you are going to do.
If you are acting a part in a play, learn your part so well that you can become the person you are representing. Memorising the words is merely the first part.
It is essential, of course, and you must know them backwards, so to speak, but get into the part.
If you haven’t done so already, read that wonderful book The Art of Acting by Stella Adler, the greatest acting teacher of Marlon Brando, Robert de Niro and Warren Beatty.
From that you will learn all you need to know about getting into a part and performing it well. Take every opportunity you can to watch top class actors.
If you are a singer, know the words and music so well that you don’t need to look at it during the performance. Listen to great singers performing the same work.
If you can’t get to the live performances, there are many great records available, some at quite modest prices, that you can listen to, and sing along with time and again to help you perfect your technique.
The same is true also of any form of public speaking. If you are a politician or a lawyer, make sure you know your brief before you speak.
Anticipate the challenges you might receive to the line you are pursuing so that you have answers ready in advance.
So in each and every one of the roles we are discussing, thorough preparation and groundwork is essential. If you know your stuff and you have prepared properly, you are most of the way there.
A little nervousness, a little adrenaline, is beneficial to any performer. So don’t be surprised if you feel a little nervous.
It must be to do with our chemical mix on a particular day, I suppose, but I know that I have appeared in court day after day for weeks on end without so much as a butterfly in my stomach, and then one day for no apparent reason I feel a little nervous.
Talking to colleagues, it appears to be quite normal. But I find that once I get to my feet and start talking that nervous feeling rapidly dissipates.
All the time you are rehearsing your part and learning your words, picture yourself on stage succeeding.
The closer the performance gets, make the visualisation stronger.
If a picture of failure start to creep into your mind, mentally push the picture away into the distance, drain the colour from it, turn the image completely white and let it disappear into the distance like some speck of dust.
Reinforce the picture of you succeeding. See yourself on stage performing confidently. Make the picture rich with colour.
Hear the applause of the audience. As the play progresses see your performance getting stronger and ever more confident.
Feel that confidence well up within you. Double the size of the picture and make it brighter. Every day practise this exercise.
How do you motivate yourself? Think of your audience. If you think about your audience it will deflect attention away from yourself.
Imagine that you are going on to that stage to please and entertain that audience. They have been looking forward to the event.
All you have to do is know your stuff, get yourself into the part and project. That audience has come there to be pleased; they haven’t come to see failure, they don’t expect it and they want you to succeed.
When you hear the little voice inside your head criticising you, change the tone. Make it softer and more pleasant. Speak encouraging words to yourself.
And when you talk to others about the performance use positives rather than negatives. Say that you can do and will do, not that you should or must do. Get clear goals in your mind about what you want to achieve and visualise them.
have a court appearance looming and I have mastered the brief, I know before I
arrive which witnesses I am going to call, which witness’s evidence I shall
read because it is undisputed, and I shall have a pretty accurate idea of how
long my case will take.
By the time my opponent’s client is due to give evidence, I will also know the scope of the questions I shall ask.
It is not that I know every question in advance or necessarily the order of the questioning, but I will know the topics I wish to cover and approximately how long that will take.
In a court environment so much of what happens depends on the responses an advocate gets to question and argument, but it is surprising nonetheless that with proper preparation one can be quite accurate about what will happen.
Careful preparation and suitable goals boost the confidence and aid the performance tremendously.
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