You would think that in Austin, Texas, the Live Music Capital of the World, you would never run into anyone with stage fright. Yet you would be wrong—it seems like every day I get calls from people who are afraid of public speaking, calling clients on the phone, answering questions at company meetings, or even just talking to strangers at a party.
Some folks turn to drugs to calm them down. It’s amazing how many music majors (and former music majors) face such overwhelming pressure that they have to take tranquilizers to get through any musical performance.
So here are a few tips for combatting stage fright in Austin, Texas:
1. Think about Lemons.
A lot of people find that stage fright causes their mouths to go dry. The reason for this has to do with your sympathetic (fight or flight) system shutting down your digestion, which starts with shutting down your salivation. Of course, when you have to talk, that’s the worst possible time to have dry-mouth.
So an old actor’s trick is to think about lemons, which can kick-start your salivation. It also tells your body that everything is all right, helping you to be calm.
2. Take a Deep Breath.
That fight or flight response also causes panting, so one way to hack your body-mind is to take nice deep breaths all the way down to your belly.
3. Stare at Foreheads.
If you find it unnerving to have lots of people looking at you, look at their foreheads instead of their eyes. They’ll think you’re making eye-contact, and you won’t feel the pressure of the podium.
4. Picture your Audience Naked.
No matter how important your audience members are, they put on their pants one leg at a time. Imagine them naked and vulnerable to remind yourself that you are in charge.
Alternatively, you could picture them with clown noses, ridiculous hats, or giant, colorful shoes.
5. Recall a Successful Time.
You’ve probably had one of those “Yipee!” moments when you just did great. Think about one of those moments to remind yourself that you can handle anything.
6. Practice, Practice, Practice
Plan out what you’re going to say (or play) and practice doing it a number of times. To really turbo-charge your success, use mental rehearsal as well as physical rehearsal. In mental rehearsal, you close your eyes and imagine yourself succeeding in the task over and over again. That way, you can prepare for conditions you can’t reproduce until the time of performance: the size of the crowd, the setting, and so on.
A combination of mental and physical rehearsal can make you a real dynamo.
7. See a Hypnosis Practitioner.
Fears inhabit your unconscious mind, so the fastest way to overcome this is to see someone who specializes in re-programming the unconscious: a Hypnosis Practitioner! We can speed up this process dramatically.
Book your session at Harmony Hypnosis today!