7 Sure Fire Ways To Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking Or Performing

Prayer or Meditation: If you're a believer you can pray if you are not at least take time to clear your mind and meditate. (On clearing your mind) A short prayer for God to guide you and give you the right words can't ever hurt. God has promised to give believers words even when they are under a heavy persecution; Mt 10:19. Why wouldn't he also help when there isn't any persecution? He would. Obviously you must do this before you speak. If you don't pray before you speak you might find yourself praying in the middle of your presentation for God to get you out of it as quickly as possible. Do not overlook this little gem because although it seems unimportant, it can actually be what makes or breaks your performance or presentation.

Concentrate Only On what Your Doing or Saying: Finding something to focus on in the room, the podium or in your own head is the quick road to failure. If you are concentrating on some external matter your attention is divided and everyone will see that as clearly as a red blinking light on you head. One hundred percent of your attention on your subject, your music or anything else leaves zero percent wasted on fear, faces and nerves. It also goes without saying that you should never give any attention to time. It is another great false detractor. If you're in a hurry, it shows a lack of confidence, if you go over time you must be approaching expert levels in your field. Take that as an unspoken compliment.

Ask Yourself One Single Question: Before you begin speaking ask yourself one all important question. Who in this entire audience could do or say what I am doing or saying? If you consider the answer very carefully you will always arrive at the same answer which is, few to none. When I was playing American and Irish Folk music I constantly reminded myself that I had a repertoire of about one thousand songs. I wasn't trying to feed my ego but I was reminding myself of one fact. If I were to ask my audience how many people could do one thousand songs, I would get no answers at all most of the time. When I get up to speak I am reminded of years of schooling, hours of personal preparation, scores of published articles and two published books. Ego, no, it is only the answer to the all important question. The bottom line is that since no one can say or do what you are saying or doing just get on with it. Waste no time on what anyone thinks. If they could do what you are doing they would be in the podium and you would be in the audience.

Get Emotional: If you stuff doesn't move you it won't move anyone else either. This is an immutable rule of presentation. If you are singing your interpretation of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star pour yourself into it. If you are speaking about the nocturnal habits of fire ants do it with gesticulations, reverberations and tremors. Ridiculous you say, think again. One of the greatest influences in my days of performing music was a man I had never met and I never heard even one note of his music. His influence came from the remarks I heard others make about him. They all agreed that his shows were amazing because he was so overwhelmingly emotional and caught up in what he was doing. I soon discovered that when I got all wrapped up and emoted in my music that even when I thought my performance was poor the audience did not. Try it you'll like it.

Use Humor: Not everyone is good at telling jokes and humorous stories but almost everyone knows at least one or two good ones. Nothing breaks the ice quicker than humor. If you get them laughing early you have already invoked at least one basic human emotional response, provoking others will be a great deal easier from then on. Don't comb the joke books looking for the best jokes. Think of the jokes you have heard others say recently. The key is twofold. Pick a joke or humorous story that is somewhat related to what you are presenting. And do not pick jokes that you alone think are funny. Use jokes that you have seen bringing others to a belly laugh. Use humor that has worked in the public domain. Don't overdue the humor angle because people can recognize filler material very easily. The other side of the coin is not to ignore this useful tool of the trade. Laughter is a great equalizer for both audience and speaker.

Get Personal: This is far more than good advice, it is a rule that if ignored will become the difference between success and failure. I have watched skilled musicians who never once addressed their audiences. Their performance may have been impeccable but in the end met with little acclaim. I've heard speakers who know their subject forward and backward but left people yawning and fidgeting. What was missing was often if not always the personal touch. You must get a rapport going with any audience on the personal level or will get nothing else going at all. How can you do that? Take a cue from the stand up comedian or the storyteller. They ask mundane questions and they wait for someone to answer or acknowledge it with a gesture or murmur. Where are you from, any one here from New York? Hey, does it ever stop raining here in Washington. Let me see how many of you are here tonight; if you're here raise your hand. For those of you that didn't raise your hand I have a question, where the heck are you? I often started off by saying, thank you for having me here tonight and it is good to see you all here to hear my music, now get out of here every one of you. Some were shocked, some giggled some roared but all came to attention. Sound silly, it is but make no mistake, it works.

See The Crowd As Only One Person: No science is available to prove how or why this little tool works, but be assured it will never fail. Always speak to the audience as if you were talking to only one single person. It makes them feel that you are being very personal with each individual, they can feel the difference. It shrinks the crowd on a perceptional level for you. Remember that perception is often the better part of reality. It moves the entire matter to a, one on one. Who wouldn't admit that they are more comfortable talking to their neighbor or some stranger but not a whole crowd? Approach your performance or address as if you were doing just that and you will succeed.

Rev Bresciani is the leader of a non-denominational ministry in the New Orleans area. He has written many articles over the past thirty years in such periodicals as Guideposts and Catholic Digest. He is the author of two books available on Amazon.com, Alibris, Barnes and Noble and many other places. Rev Bresciani wrote, Hook Line and Sinker or What has Your Church Been Teaching You, published by PublishAmerica of Baltimore MD. He also wrote a book recently released by Xulon Press entitled An American Prophet and His Message, Questions and Answers on the Second Coming of Christ. Rev Bresciani has his own website at http://americanprophet.org

In The News:


Entrepreneur

Want to Improve Your Public Speaking? There's an App for That.
Entrepreneur
Public speaking is terrifying -- and I'm not the only one who feels this way. A much cited poll revealed that for more than half of us, the prospect is worse than death. This may sound extreme but then you think about getting up in front of a huge ...


Entrepreneur

7 Public Speaking Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneur
You have delivered good presentations before, but recently, you don't know how to take your public speaking skills to the next level. This happens to the best of us -- even pros who consistently get paid to speak. However, successful entrepreneurs keep ...


Engadget

Can wearable tech make public speaking less scary?
Futurity: Research News
Public speaking gives some people the jitters. A new intelligent user interface for Google Glass gives real-time feedback on volume modulation and speaking rate, all while remaining minimally distracting. The new interface can record a speaker and ...
Google Glass app can help socially awkward penguins speak in publicEngadget
Google Glass Update: Tech Acessory to Oust Public Speaking Phobia With ...News Every day
Wearable technology can help with public speakingR & D Magazine
Times of India -Hindu Business Line
all 35 news articles »

Fayetteville FFA members compete in public speaking
Georgetown News Democrat
Five Fayetteville FFA members recently competed in the areas of Creed, Advanced Creed, Beginning Prepared, Advanced Prepared, and Extemporaneous Public Speaking. FFA members competed in the Sub-District Contest at Georgetown High School and ...

and more »

The Guardian

Women don't like public speaking? Small wonder
The Guardian
Without formally pathologising the fear of public speaking, she could not be clearer that a move to jazz hands has important health benefits for all women (aside, perhaps, from those with impaired sight). “Women's conference,” she argues, “is a space ...


Speaking up: Regional Public Speaking Contest
The Original Irregular
STRONG — Seven area students competed in the Regional Public Speaking Contest held at Strong Elementary School March 25. The contest is open to students in grades 5–8 and is held first at the individual school level before moving on to the regional ...


Huffington Post

10 Ways Leaders Use Fear in Public Speaking
Huffington Post
You've read about the survey that reports people fear speaking in public more than death, along with all the advice about how to overcome nervousness. But if you're a leader, a healthy dose of fear can be a good thing. In fact, if fear doesn't propel ...


Bromley Times

Beckenham pupil through to final of public speaking competition
Bromley Times
The awards were presented by Bob Stewart, the MP for Beckenham until Parliament was dissolved on Monday, and Bromley Mayor Julian Benington. Mr Stewart said: “I believe public speaking is one of the most important skills a young person can develop.


WalesOnline

10 things to avoid when it comes to public speaking!
WalesOnline
Are you a dreadful public speaker? Unfortunately far too many people in business really don't cut the mustard when it comes to public speaking. And yet, being able to present your business in a clear and engaging way is essential if you are to succeed.


TIME

How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
TIME
The biggest tip to improve your public speaking? Think less about yourself, and more about your audience. Specifically, focus on 3 main things: 1. Who are you speaking to? Research ahead of time as much as you can, as to who your audience is. Tailor ...

Google News

A Simple Guide to Writing (and Giving) a Speech

Nearly as dreaded as snakes and spiders, public speaking ranks... Read More

Using Your Natural Style On Stage

We were both speakers at the same convention presenting on... Read More

Speech Writing Tips: The 14 Speech Writing Secrets of President Bill Clinton

Speaking in public can be a powerful way to build... Read More

Voice Coaching - Training Your Voice to Give Better Presentations

Picture a cool crisp autumn morning in the wide open... Read More

Giving Your Audience Great Benefits

What benefit do you provide the audience?People should listen to... Read More

The Top Four Ways To Get Audience Involvement In A Presentation

In the thousands of speeches I've heard very few presenters... Read More

Is Information Delivery Instruction?

Do you work for one of those organisations whose "training"... Read More

How To Start With Public Speaking

I don't know how many books, articles, manuals and scripts... Read More

Now Appearing: 9 Tips for a Well-Attended Event

When I made the decision to do free workshops and... Read More

If You Arent a Little Nervous, You Arent Paying Attention

The fear of public speaking is one of the most... Read More

Speak in Public! Who Me?

The first time I had to speak in front of... Read More

Directing Voiceovers: Dont Be, Do!

Directing a voice-over talent you've hired to read a spot... Read More

SOS - Goal Setting

... --- ... SOS This is the traditional seafaring emergency... Read More

Will Speak for Food - Using Free Speeches to Attract Customers

If you want to get in front of prospective customers,... Read More

Speaking for FUN and PROFIT

How do you gain contacts from a speaking engagement?The name... Read More

How to Polish Your Speaking Skills: Its Time for T.I.P.S.

When requested to write an article about public speaking tips,... Read More

Getting Results from Your Writing & Speaking

When we communicate, we usually want something to happen. We... Read More

Fear!

I am terrified of heights. The thought of skydiving, for... Read More

How Well Do You Speak?

The ability to speak well can enhance your career, clinch... Read More

Speech Writing Secrets Of President Bill Clinton

Speaking in public can be a powerful way to build... Read More

How to Become a More Persuasive Speaker: A Systems Approach

There is no surer way to get ahead in business... Read More

Internet Marketing and Public Speaking: Seven Steps to a Successful Murder Board

I recently posted an article providing tips on public speaking... Read More

Speech Tips - Ten Things to Remember When Accepting an Award

Many people are recognised for their work, industry, sporting or... Read More

How to Give a Speech Without Dying

Two of the top fears of most people are dying... Read More

Speakers Learn How to Define Your Niche

This is one of the hardest things speakers have to... Read More