Overcoming Phobia of Public Speaking or Performance Anxiety in Sports
Do you remember the dread you’d feel when it was your turn to “Show and Tell” in elementary school?
Many people never get over the trauma.
Instead, they carry with them a fear of getting up in front of an audience – whether it’s for a job interview, an important meeting at work, or even for proposing a toast at a joyous social event.
In addition to being paralyzed by phobia of public speaking, performance anxiety can be a significant issue in sports, too.
Seasoned musicians and actors also suffer from performance anxiety. The only difference between them and you?
The best of them have learned to channel the adrenaline of anxiety into a positive energy boost to help fuel their performance.
Stage Fright Tips from Master Performers
Everyone knows that the best way to overcome stage fright is to imagine everyone in your audience sitting in his or her birthday suit. But perhaps you’ve pulled out that old trick and it isn’t working as thoroughly as you’d like.
Then you could benefit from the advice of a noted performance coach I spoke with recently. She coaches high-level executives on how to make killer presentations to the top tier of their company’s management team on issues potentially worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars or more. It’s a situation that’s about as nerve-wracking as it gets.
What works for them can work for you too.
One of her important lessons is: focus on your message, not on your fear of how people will react to you personally.
Your message is what’s important. What isn’t important is you.
You want your message to be well-received, but to some degree that’s out of your hands. They may applaud or boo your performance. They may adopt your proposal to reorganize your business division – or they may not. None of that is entirely under your control.
Your voice tone, pacing, breath rhythm, eye contact, and other non-verbal factors will impact your communication. Channel all your energy and passion into conveying your message as strongly and directly as you can, because what you have to say is important.