Image via Flickr by comedy_nose
In my professional development class, How To Teach It, I often get comments about the challenges of being in front of a group – more commonly known as stage fright. Below are the methods I have successfully used for years in managing stage fright to the point it rarely happens any more. And none of these techniques require you visualizing anyone naked!!
1. The most important thing to remember is that you are in front of these folks because they are interested in what you have to say. If you are reasonably competent, they are going to be thrilled to listen to your presentation. So breathe; you will do fine.
2. Do not strive for perfection. It just isn’t feasible. If you make a mistake, stumble over your words or phrase something awkwardly, it is okay. Just pause, and give it another go. Folks understand that we all stumble over words occasionally.
3. Remember that you get points from your audience just for being up there. Almost everyone has some level of stage fright, but most are not willing or able to overcome it. Before you say or do anything, you are already a hero to some.
4. Find a friendly face in the crowd. There is almost always someone near the front with a welcoming smile and pleasant demeanor. Focus on them for the first minute or so until you get going and find you stride. And look back at them if you need some reassurance along the way.
5. Relax! Breathe slowly, try to talk a little slower, and take your time. When you are relaxed, the audience relaxes which in turn makes you more relaxed and so on. You might even discover it is quite fun.
What are your tricks for managing stage fright?