Have you ever had to give a speech or go out in front of an audience and have you noticed how your voice and your legs were shaking? The scenic panic It is one of the most widespread social fears and one of the most feared. Few things stop us more than feeling that sense of anguish and anxiety when we have to speak in public, something that influences our enjoyment in communicating and our ability to move personally and professionally. Want to know how to beat the scenic panic? Keep reading!
What is scenic panic?
Accelerated breathing, totally dry mouth, hands, legs and voice shaking, nausea, stomach ache and heart as if we were getting out of the chest ... do you know the feeling? These are some of the symptoms of scenic panic, a fear that can take hold of us when we have to face an audience that watches us, either to give a speech, a conference, or any kind of performance.
The scenic panic can be so intense that sometimes it gets many people away from their dreams for pure fear of facing this. However, this type of fear does not have to incapacitate you or deprive you of doing what you really want. This distressing sensation is so common that it is not only anonymous people who face the public on very specific occasions, but stage workers who live continuously from the public exhibition. From Hugh Grant, Mariah Carey or Lady Gaga, many world-renowned interpreters have claimed to have ever felt this kind of panic, some even in a deep and sustained way in time, although they have managed to overcome it and go on stage.
There are several ways to keep nerves at bay in a presentation or performance. Some of the most commonly heard tips are to rest well the night before, not to drink caffeine or to prepare our speech or act well. It is also very beneficial to learn to relax and control body tension through breathing exercises and meditation. However, when we feel scenic panic, we can forget all these tips and betrayed by our own nerves, trying to avoid fear, which makes them become much older. Today, we talk about somewhat different tips that have proven to be very effective.
Convince yourself that you are excited to do so
According to a study conducted by the Hardvard Business School, there is a trick that perhaps few had done so far: affirm that the anxiety or stress we feel when going on stage is actually emotion for wanting to do it. This study in which 400 people participated found that this method is more effective than trying to calm down and repeat that we relax. It is about pretending or pretending that we are "excited" to perform the stressful act; in this way the state of nervousness and adrenaline discharge is normalized by channeling these sensations into a more acceptable psychological state. This new conceptualization allows people to better focus their thoughts and emotions.
Focus on the content, not on you
One of the biggest mistakes when going out on stage is to think that the public wants to see us, that is, we focus on what the public wants from us and not on what we have come to express. This generates a loop of negativity, something like a fish that bites its tail: a state in which we will be hypervigilant before any signal that is perceived as a threat.
For example, being so anxious we would be extremely aware of any detail of the context. If we watched someone from the public yawn, we would somehow "confirm" our "failure" and become even more nervous and anxious, completely forgetting what we had come to say. However, the public has not expressly gone to see the person, but to observe what the person is going to offer. Focus on the content and materials we want to present or the message we are going to convey, instead of ourselves, it will make us leave our self-image in the background and concentrate our energy on what we have truly come to do.
What if everything goes wrong?
Imagine this situation: you go on stage and see hundreds of eyes staring at you, watching you and wielding every move you make. With a completely dry throat you begin to pronounce the first words without much success, since the nerves make your pronunciation unintelligible. Gradually you start to shake and sweat and notice expressions of concern among the audience. Soon you reach the summit of all your fears: you have gone blank, you have completely forgotten your speech and everything is going around you. What do you think will happen next? You will probably return home with a bitter feeling and be worried a few days, but you would learn about what happened and you could even seek help to overcome this problem. Over time, you would surely overcome this experience and who knows? Maybe one day you will do better and you could even tell your experience and laugh about it. Do you think it has been so terrible? What's the worst that could happen? Face and visualize the worst of situations and face them with courage until you accept it, will make our fear disappear little by little.
Don't worry, nobody is perfect
The scenic panic responds to a deep-rooted fear we have acquired in our social learning: fear of disappointment, of making a fool of yourself or of not being accepted by others. We have grown up in a competitive society that seeks the perfection and acceptance of others at any cost and just thinking of failing before a group of people who can criticize us or disapprove of our performance can make even the most confident person tremble. But what if the concept of perfection we have is totally unreal? Admit it: No one is perfect. We all make mistakes and this is necessary, because otherwise we would never learn. We are not robots programmed to do everything always 100% well. Understanding and accepting it in the most natural way possible will cause our pressure to be perfect to decrease and we can flow spontaneously.
Links of interest
How To Cope With Your Stage Fright. Nick Morgan //www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2014/02/25/how-to-cope-with-your-stage-fright/#28b8ea15efb5
5 Proven Strategies for Coping With Stage Fright. Dan Scalco //www.entrepreneur.com/article/287831.
Beat Performance Anxiety and Overcome Stage Fright in 7 Easy Steps. //www.scienceofpeople.com/performance-anxiety/