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  • Writer's pictureAparna Sinha

Facing Stage Fear: A Guide for Everyone | How To Deal With Stage Fear

Hi Guys, we all have many fears - fear of height, water, snakes but do you know what is the no. 1 fear in this world? One survey said that people would rather die than face that fear. According to various studies, this fear affects up to 75% of the population, making it one of the most common phobias. Symptoms may include rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, trembling hands or voice, nausea, and excessive sweating. Individuals may experience negative thoughts, memory lapses, or feelings of panic and a strong desire to escape the situation.

In this video I will share techniques that will help you overcome that no. 1 fear. Imagine how much ahead you can go in your career if you don't fear something that most people fear.

If you want to succeed in life by becoming a better communicator or speaker, then subscribe to my channel because as a certified speaker and communicator I share many mantras for communication success.

Let's unveil that no. 1 in this whole wide world and that is the fear of public speaking.

Public speaking is one skill that has the potential to boost your career by 50%? And this statement has been given by Warren Buffett, the CEO of berkshire hathaway at Columbia University back in 2009. And he says that this is the single greatest skill one can have to jump start their careers.

Just image your resume where in the strengths section, you mention public speaking. Imagine what impact will that have? I have put that and I have received interviews calls from the biggest and the most prestigious companies.

Overcoming stage fear can open up numerous career opportunities and advancements.For many professions, public speaking or performing in front of a group/team is essential.

Let me run you through an interesting and personal story here, a story from my own life when I was doing my MBA. Talking here about one personal story that I have to share on this topic. A few years ago, when I was a student, my Business Communications faculty asked all the students to come one by one and speak impromptu on the stage on whatever topic they found suitable. What the professor wouldn’t have expected was that everyone (including me) spoke on the topic: “stage fear”.

Do y ou know why everyone selected this topic? Because when people were asked to come at the front and speak to the class, the first thing that came to their mind is fear or stage anxiety or performance anxiety.

However if we keep all these reasons aside, wouldn’t it be great if something that everyone fears becomes your strength. How easy would it be to climb up in life if we come under that top 10% of people who do not fear facing the crowd at all? After all, isn’t there space always at the top and crowded at the bottom.

An organizational structure is like a pyramid. While there are so many people on the bottom, there is always space at the top. Once you get to this skill, you will reach to the top faster than you think. And this is so very important to distinguish yourself from others especially when the company coming to recruit you will have 10 other applicants with similar backgrounds and schooling. But if you all overcome this fear now, at the juncture when you are just started to step into the corporate world, you will separate yourself from the crowd.

First and foremost understand one thing -

And there is nothing wrong with having fear. Fear actually makes us prepare better and stops us from being complacent. And remember the And as the tagline nike says “just do it”. Do it in spite of all the fears, anxiety, stress. In fact you won’t believe but even the world’s greatest leaders had stage fear. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas jefferson, and abraham lincoln, all have admitted to having stage fear.

There are 3 ways you can overcome your stage fear:

  1. Practice and practice: It is said that the closer to get to your fear, the more it disappears. Example, initially you fear talking in front of 10 people, once you do that 5 times, you start feeling comfortable. Then your fear becomes speaking in front of 20 people. Once you do that you start fearing speaking in front of 40 people. Hence you see every time to practice, you expand your limits.

Once upon a time there was a standup comedian who was just stating to start a career in this field in the new york city. One day he say emmy award winner C K louis. He went to him and said “hey, do you have any tips for starters”. Louis replied ‘There is nothing I can do for you. The only road to a good show is a bad one. Just go start having some bad time and if you don’t give up, you will get better.”

2. Listening to other speakers - In today age of technology and youtube, access to the best of speeches and speakers are available with a click away. Nearly every public presentation Steve Jobs ever gave--as far back as the original Macintosh product launch in 1984--is available for streaming. All the speeches of Ted speakers is available on the web. The more you see, the more you grasp and the more you learn.

3. The most important thing is to realise that your fear < purpose. Like my purpose standing here is to share a message and if that is more important than my fear, I will be able to overcome the fear. And your purpose could be anything: to entertain the audience, to inspire, to share, motivate the audience, promote a product, make others excited, pitch an idea, meet investors, share your experience of being in the company with your superiors. You need these at all times.


Now lets see how I used these 4 points:

I shared a personal story to connect with the audience. Talking about how i myself selected the topic of stage fear. So sharing this fear makes me more relatable to the audience.

I did use humor to talk about the funeral experience

I included the audience when I asked the question in the beginning 5 minutes of the speech

My body language is uptoi you to judge and comment upon

A strong opening because i introduced a statistic that made people excited and excited. Really? 50% career improvement. And in the conclusion we will include audience participation, your own experience of speaking that will give you food for thought of how you performed on the stage.

Trump’s analysis of speech:

1.Bond / relationship you create with the audience

Let’s look at one of the lines from his speech:

“This moment is your moment: it belongs to you.”

Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.”

2.Reduce distractions

Introduce humor: He generated humor by saying “We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action — constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.” The speech analyst said that he could have added more humor following this statement that could have generated more smiles and laughter.

Make the audience participate

3. Body language

He showed a lot of confidence through his body language. He didn’t cross his legs or arms, touched his face very often, blink excessively, smirking, widening of eyes.

Speech analysts said that he could have smiled more to make the audience feel more welcomed and also did more of strong eye contact.

4. Strong opening and conclusion

Look at his start:

“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people…”

Look at his conclusion:

“Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. “

“Together, We will make America strong again…

We will make wealthy again…

We will make America proud again…

We will make America safe again…

And yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.”

Public speaking exercise:

So lets start the game:

I am going to present a slide in the ppt and each person will have 1-2 minute to talk about the slide. Anything that comes to your mind. Lets how many of the 4 points you include in your talk.

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