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:

Lancaster sets new rules for public speaking at board meetings
Buffalo News
Vallely canvassed 26 local districts to learn about their public expression policies. He noted that Lancaster board meetings have been dominated by people standing up two to three times. He said Lancaster did not want to limit the total public speaking ...

Workshop helps teens enhance public speaking skills
Simi Valley Acorn
The Boys & Girls Club of Simi Valley will offer a free Public Speaking Workshop for middle school and high school teens who want to learn or enhance their public speaking skills from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wed., Oct. 14 in the club's multipurpose room 1, 2850 ...

How To Get Paid For Public Speaking
My friend Alex has a carpet-and-rug-washing machine. I'm sure it has a fancier name than that, but whatever its name is, this machine is cool. Alex comes over maybe twice a year and cleans our rugs and carpets for us, and they look spotless afterwards!


5 Powerful Reasons To Have More Confidence In Your Public Speaking
Contrary to what many people feel, public speaking is a classic example of a function learned through practice. Great speakers are made not born. As are just plain old good ones. And, of course, it's an invaluable management and career skill. I can ...


All Speaking Is Public Speaking
Jerry Seinfeld tells a joke about people having a greater fear of public speaking than death. So, he says, “Most people at a funeral would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” If you fear public speaking, how can you conquer that fear? If ...

Chiang Rai Times

Expat Attempts to Establish Public-Speaking, Toastmasters' Club in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai Times
CHIANG RAI – A Canadian expat is attempting to establish in Chiang Rai a branch of Toastmasters International, a public-speaking club. Jacques Piché, a French Canadian from Montreal, is looking for members. Twenty are needed to establish the branch.

Business Insider

Here's a breakdown of the speech that won the 2015 World Championship of ...
Business Insider
On August 15, Saudi Arabian security engineer Mohammed Qahtani won the title of Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking. He survived seven rounds of a competition that lasted six months and included 33,000 competitors from ...

and more »

The Poly Post

Polysh'd Speakers works to instill public speaking skills
The Poly Post
Its mission is to improve the communication and leadership skills of its members with a hands-on approach. Club members present a series of self-designed speeches to help improve their public speaking skills. After a member completes a series of ...

City A.M.

Tips for public speaking from political party conferences
City A.M.
Research by UCLA acoustic scientist Rosario Signorello found that political leaders tend to lower their pitch when speaking to other leaders, but vary it at public events. Nigel Farage is often singled out for his charisma and ability to engage ...

The Hudson Reporter

A toast to good public speaking Toastmasters International builds confidence ...
The Hudson Reporter
Ask Margarita Estrada, public relations officer of Toastmasters District 83, which counts members in 12 northern and central New Jersey counties, including Hudson. Estrada, who was born in Jersey City and grew up in West New York, says the group has ...

and more »
Google News

Presentation Skills Without PowerPoint

Can you identify what each of these actions or activities... Read More

A Quick Tip for Delivering a Great Speech

Does speaking in public leave you tongue-tied? Do you stumble... Read More

Shortcuts to Eloquence

You have probably had the experience of listening to a... Read More

How to Become a More Persuasive Speaker: A Systems Approach

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

Top 7 Steps to Better Public Speaking

Whether you want to be a part time, full time... Read More

Youre Making Me Nervous

Almost everybody is nervous when they stand up to speak.... Read More

Know Your Audience

What is worse than wearing a tuxedo to an event... 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 On Your Feet

Your ability to communicate effectively will account for most of... Read More

What is YOUR Speaking Expertise?

Why do you have to be an expert when getting... Read More

SOS - Goal Setting

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

The Ten Ps of Dealing with Questions

Presenters and those making speeches will frequently be faced with... Read More

Make The Most of Examples and Stories

Examples and stories can bring your presentations alive. They can... Read More

Make Your Talks Pay: Have People Stand In Line Eager Give You Their Business Card

If you've ever been on stage, doing a talk or... Read More

Using Your Natural Style On Stage

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

Speech Making - Reasons Why People Dont Listen

Making a speech seems simple. You speak, others listen. However... Read More

How to Write and Deliver an Outstanding Speech - Using the PEPP Talk Forumla

I learned my craft as a speaker a long time... Read More

How Well Do You Speak?

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

Moving Key Audiences to Take Action?

You know, those really important outside groups of people whose... Read More

Take The Fear Out Of Public Speaking

You're a bright, dynamic executive. You've been scheduled to give... Read More

Conversationally Speaking

"Would you like to say a few words?" How many... Read More

Foreign Translations of Your Talk - How Do You Ensure Your Message is Delivered Properly?

There are a number of possibilities as to how this... Read More

To Insure Success in Speaking: Anticipate

We all know that to be a careful driver on... Read More

What is Public Speaking?

When we talk about public speaking, we usually think about... Read More