Overcoming the fear of speaking on stage


Vishwa Jani

Poet and writer

It may be difficult to believe, but the amazing Emma Watson (who played the insanely popular character of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series) has suffered from stage fright at some point.

Emma was scheduled to deliver a speech on feminism at the United Nations. She told Elle UK : 'I was very nervous. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to do. Am I going to have lunch with these people, or am I going to be eaten? Am I the lunch? That was my feeling.'

She told Entertainment Weekly that after the Harry Potter movies, 'I kind of bought into the hype of whether I would ever be able to play anything else. It gave me the sense of paralysis and stage fright for a while.'

Stage fright or fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears. We are probably not scared of the stage, nor the people sitting in front of us. We’re scared of being judged, of being ridiculed or making a fool out of ourselves. Isn’t it so ?

It’s said in jest that 'the human brain is a wonderful organ. It begins functioning the moment you are born and does not stop until you are called to perform on stage.'

According to a survey, about 80% of people face stage fright. Even the most successful singers, dancers, and even public speakers themselves have faced stage fright in their life. One important thing that we all need to know is that stage fright is very common. It’s only natural to be apprehensive of opening ourselves up to criticism.

Stage fear can manifest through faster heartbeats, dried mouth, blank mind, your knees going weak and others. However, we need not feel powerless against this fear. Here are some of the ways we can deal with stage fright:

1. Understand your stuff

Nothing will help to overcome stress of being on stage as much as being prepared. We need to know the content and audience thoroughly. If we are aware of what we have to say to our audience, the fear decreases drastically.

2. Imagine the audience sitting in front is enjoying and applauding

We can visualize the outcome. We should imagine ourselves giving the perfect presentation. Full of humour, confidence, and intelligence. To an audience is happy and satisfied. The more we imagine a positive outcome, the more we will begin to believe it.

3. Keep eye contact

To avoid feeling isolated, maintain eye contact with the audience. Any audience appreciates a genuine attempt to connect, rather than flowery language or empty rhetoric.

4. Don’t rush

We often gulp down half of our words due to nervousness. We need to be slow and understandable. We can take some time to get comfortable with the environment by arriving early and speaking to a few people in the audience before the actual speech.

5. Embrace the fear

Nobody is completely free from fear. It’s a natural human emotion. So just being a little scared is no reason to believe that the speech won’t go well. Just accepting the fact that being a little nervous is natural, allows us to focus on what we have to say rather than trying to become perfect.

What do you think ? Was there ever a time you were caught in a situation where you were too scared to speak on stage ?

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Sangeeta Dass
Rohit Chopra
Thanks Sangeeta ! Most people are super scared of speaking on stage 😀
Priya Kumawat
Chandravadan Jani
Fear is nothing but lack of confidence. Any good orator may also have slipped tongue, but they immediately gets it in shape of audiance mood and therefore they are good orators. Experience of stage is only that you must know audians, you must keep ear on speech given from dies before your turn & get you ready to serve what they have not dilivered & while you dilivering speech, deliver it with full confidence and never forget to observe audiance - shape dilivery looking them. If it's followed, You will never face fear.
Android Creatures
Awesome 👍😁