10 Ways to Overcome Your Stage Fright

Juraj Holub

Every speaker knows the adrenaline rush before going up on stage. Shallow breathes, sweating hands and stumping feet.It’s nerve-wracking and thrilling at the same time.

There’s nothing more frightening than being unsure if the things will go as they should while standing in front of the crowd. Here are 10 tips on how to eliminate your fright before you have to step on stage the next time.

Before the event

1. Set up your presentation

Come to the venue well in advance, preferably a day prior to the event, to set up your presentation with AV technicians. Talk to them about your requests and explain clearly what you need from them. There are there to help you!

2. Go through the slides

Once your presentation is set on the main screens, click through the slides to check if everything works well and get familiar with the transitions especially when you use Prezi. If polls are a part of your presentation, check if they’re placed on the right spots and pop out smoothly.

3. Get familiar with the stage

This is the most important thing to tackle stage fright. We fear what we don’t know, so get up on the stage and walk around to get a feeling with its size and the placement of the screens.

4. Find the right spot

When you’re on the stage, find the right spot from where you’ll present and practice the first couple of lines to get confident about your opening. If your opening goes well, the rest of the presentation will do too.

On the event day

5. Check twice

It’s always wise to check twice. So talk to the technicians on the day of the event and make sure that everything is ready. If you need any assistance from them, confirm with them the steps that you’d like them to help you with.

6. Have your props ready

Props are a super efficient way how to help your audience visualise the examples or products included in your presentation. If you plan to use aids, check if there is a place on the stage where you can leave them before shining them out at the right moment.

7. Get your headset on well in advance

There’s nothing worse than to panic at the very last moment before stepping out on the stage. Getting the headset on earlier rather than later definitely helps to decrease the chances of a panic attack that something is not working.

8. Warm up your voice

You don’t want your voice sound as if you were tuning the radio, especially not during the first few sentences of your keynote.  Go over the first couple of lines 6-7 times to warm up your voice so it sounds as persuasive as when you close your speech.

On the stage

9. Reset the audience

At the start of the event day, your audience members come in different mood modes. Use a simple ice-breaker to get everyone on the same mood level. If your speech is n-th in a row, make your audience do a simple kinesthetic exercise to rest their minds and refocus on your talk.

10. Pause before you speak out

Before you let the first words out of your mouth, stand on the stage and remain quite for a couple of seconds so the audience calms down and notices your presence. Using this small trick, you’ll dramatically increase the tension and the audience will be hanging on every syllable you speak out.

Do you have a stage fright? What are your tips to tackle it? Please share with us below.

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