Thursday, 15 November 2012

Imagine everyone naked…

Sometimes it can be as simple as that. More often than not though; it is more complex. Having stage fright is as much a physical challenge as it is mental. Along with anxiety, your body may also demonstrate attributes such as dry mouth, sweaty hands, increased heartbeat, etc.

This blog will explore a wide array of techniques and coping skills that will help reduce the effects of the physical symptoms associated with stage fright.  Some techniques I regard as my personal favourites are:

Be prepared
Make sure to go over your presentation ahead of time. Review the details a week before it takes place. You will be confident speaking about something you know rather than guess or look at your notes.
Breathe deeply
Concentrating on your breathing is a powerful tool in fighting the onset of anxiety and stress in particular. Inhaling deeply and holding that breath, before exhaling to a count of ten is the proper technique. This not only calms you of any stress but it also lowers your heart rate into a relaxing rhythm.
Keep moving
Use your body to make a point and force your audience to follow you. Walk to the board when you want to demonstrate something specific in the presentation. Stay involved.
Eye contact
Having 10 to 20 people looking at you can be very intimidating. A good technique that I was taught in highschool was to look at the wall behind the audience. That way, it tricks the audience as it seems as though you are looking directly at them when you are not.
Using handouts and Powerpoint
Create handouts and distribute them to your audience so they can, not only see you, but follow along. Using tools such as Microsoft Powerpoint and projecting the presentation creates less attention on you and more focus on the presentation itself.