Stage fright has been troubling people from the times armorial. One wants to speak to a group, to express himself or herself, they have the ideas and want to share knowledge but the stage fright scares them.
What is stage fright and how does it operate?
I’ll describe six stages of stage fright to explain in totality why and how it takes place. After understanding the root cause of the problem, I will also give suggestions as to how you can avoid stage fright. This video has been prepared for all those friends who are afflicted by the demon called stage fright, but do not know how to avoid, how to overcome or how to conquer this enemy of the human confidence.
It starts no sooner you accept the assignment of making a speech. After confirming, you start thinking why did you agree? You are not a public presentation. What if you tail to come up to the expectation of the audience? You will make a tool of yourself and for no reason. Instead of sitting downer and preparing, you harbor these negative thoughts unmil you get involved in your activities.
These constant negative thoughts start scaring you. You feel something ominous is ahead of you, recollection of the previous occasions when you could not perform well bring a kind of misery. Efforts to prepare the speech even when you sit down to write do not bring positive results. What happens next? What does it lead to?
Fear provoking thoughts make you anxious. The anxiety starts working. It breeds worry making it extremely difficult to prepare a proper speech. For sure, there are more negative thoughts. And that leads the stage 4.
You anxiety is increased with deepening fear and non-preparation. The problem grows and disturbs your logical thinking. But now it’s a point of no return. Some days have passed and there is no way you can come out of the predicament. Then it leads to stage5.
Focus on fears, anxiety and worry cause distraction. This makes the task even more difficult. But somehow you prepare the speech. It doesn’t even appeal to you. But you can do nothing. So you are ready but with a substandard speech.
You are on the stage. You are nervous. Whatever you had prepared, even that plays hide and seek with you. You start making the same mistakes which you had predicted. Your legs shake, hands shiver voice cracks. Instead of 15 minute speech you could last only for 5 to 6 minutes. Your enemy stage fright had the day of celebration. It had won. You come down as a defeated person.
Now, let me tell you how to tame this wild bull, your victor – the stage fright. I’ll briefly but clearly explain the five steps formula to beat your enemy down.
The day you agree to speak, on the same day you should note down the points which you will like to project. Whatever you know is fine. Google out the rest. Having the points is just like collecting your ammunition.
Next day, you go through these points a number of times. You may find some of them not so lethal while you find others like dynamites. Retain the dynamites and throw away the weaklings. Don’t keep anything extra. Now, you are ready to wage a war. You have all the weapons.
Again you go through the points you have now collected. As you have slept over them for 2days, you will find it very easy to put them in proper order. One naturally will lead to another and you will have a good sketon for your speech. It is the framework of your final delivery. Just like a general of an army strategizes the attack and keep ready to wage a war against your abominable enemy stage fright. This done, you must visualize yourself as the victor in the mar. See yourself battling away all the enemies, big and small.
Just visualization will not help. It will inspire to put in all the hard work that lies ahead. Now, for balance days that you have, you must practice, practice and practice. Since it’s your first big battle no am omit of practice is too much. Practice as much as you can but also some more.
On the day of reckoning go to the appointed place at least ½ an hour early. Meet organizers and others who have come. Talk to them informally. You know your subject in and out. You have practiced your speech more number of times than anyone can imagine. You are sure to come out as a winner. Stage fright will be scared of you and you will rock the stage. Wherever there is applause allow people to have their way. Don’t limit their appreciation. Thank them with you facial expression and then centinue. At the end receive compliments grace fully and not sheepishly.
Five types of Negative Emotions which may wreck your Life
First of all, we must understand what are negative emotions. What is the meaning of negative emotion? As human beings we are bound to feel happy or sad with situations or while interacting with people. Impact of such situation or such interaction is emotion. These emotions can be positive or negative. Positive emotions will make us feel happy. Negative emotions on the other side make us feel sad and unhappy. Both these categories of emotions are a part of human life. Both have a role to play. When these are left uncontrolled both these emotions do not help humans. In fact, they tend to add problems in the life which have to be dealt with.
So what should we do?
We must be self-aware and monitor our emotions at all time. What are the examples of negative emotions. Negative emotions are of five types. These are: sadness, anxiety, anger, guilt and shame or embarrassment. Let us examine each of these five types of negative emotions.
This is an emotion which hardly has any positive effect on life. In fact it saps away the time that we lose because of this negative emotion. Except for the fact that we have possibility to contemplate and experience nostalgia, there is no other gain from the emotion of sadness. It reduces energy. It reduces your desire to follow goals. You start feeling that there is no significance of life. If the sadness continues you lose your interest in life.
How to come out of this negative emotion?
The best way is to start doing something interesting. For example if you are fond of painting, start a new picture. If you are fond of singing, start practicing a new song. If you are a health freak, it is time that you start doing some exercise. In short don’t sit and spend away your valuable time in remaining sad.
Next on the list is Anxiety. Some people may say that anxiety helps you to analyse the situation. It prepares you to meet the challenge ahead. It forces you to do all the preparation that you need to face new situation or a challenge. This is an example of self satisfying assumption. Anxiety will have a negative effect on your brain. Anxiety affects your ability to decide. And it should not be mistaken for need to prepare for meeting any situation. That does not require anxiety. It requires only your decisive thinking and discipline. Anxiety will only causes stress which will affect your productivity. Whenever you are anxious for a particular challenge which has cropped up in your life the best way is to sit down and write what are the possibilities. You have always to make a choice. If you don’t decide even that will add to your anxiety.
The third type of negative emotion is Anger. Anger is the negative emotion which can be used to your advantage. But it will happen only if you are keen to use it. Keen to use Anger to motivate you to do something which you have been postponing. Anger also needs to be in control. When in control you can be sure that it will give you greater energy to face the situation which is difficult and which requires all concentrated effort. However if you think that Anger by itself will help you, if you think that it will solve your problem by itself, you are sadly mistaken. Unbridled anger can cause havoc. It will increase your stress and generate further negative emotions like vengeance or enmity and the like. So, you should be cautious that anger should not be allowed to rule over you. You should only think of using the situation or using this powerful emotion for furthering your course. It definitely enhances your motivation. It definitely increases your willpower to resolve the problem. But as I said earlier you must be in control of your anger. You should not allow anger to have control on you.
Fourth type of negative emotion is guilt. It is generated by your inner self. It happens when you feel that you have done something which you ought not to have done. It is indicative of lack of discipline on your part. It is indicative that you are tempted by small things. It is indicative that you have lesser control on yourself. It is indicative of the weakness of one’s character. How can we use this emotion to our advantage? We should remain self-aware and we should think before doing anything. Over the period you have realized that certain things which you did in the past, left the curse the feeling of guilt. It means that if you are shirking away from your responsibilities, you will have the feeling of guilt. So if you question yourself that you must avoid the negative feeling of guilt which will cause a negative effect on my health, on your thinking, on you brain, you may help yourself to avoid such inaction or even action which you feel will cost you dearly.
Shame or Embarrassment:
Last but not the least we should talk about shame or embarrassment. This negative feeling or emotion demolish our self-confidence. It can reduce our self esteem. This may not be entirely due to your character blemishes. It may be due to environment. Oftentimes there are some incidents where your peers or colleagues or others deliberately try to embarrass you. So what should you do? Whenever you are likely to face such a situation you have to prepare yourself. Maybe you remind one previous occasion when some people misbehaved with you. At that time recall what was your conduct. What was your reaction? How did you deal with the situation? Recall, if you had not handled it properly and that became the cause of embarrassment. You can plan out a different response. In any case if you want to avoid embarrassment which is affecting your personality, you have to do some kind of preparation. In life, if you want to be successful, you have to always prepare for challenging situations. Never be shy of preparation. Never think that you can handle anything and everything because of your ego. Ego has absolutely no place in life except when you mean self-confidence when you’re talking about ego
The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable. There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.
-Seneca 4 B.C.? 65 A.D.
Anxiety is the worst habit of human personality. In fact one only needs to be concerned about any untoward situation, but that should never lead us to worry about anything that may happen. It is said that the fear of death is worse than death. Often, many fatal mistakes may also be made because of fear of uncertainty.
Anxiety is also called the parent of many sins. In spite of the fact that we all know that negative thinking, worry or anxiety never help, yet we fall prey to these atrocious daemons. In a world where everything is doubtful, and where we may be disappointed, and yet at times be blessed in the very disappointment, why this restless stir and commotion of mind? Can it alter the cause? No. Can it unravel the mystery? No. Can these negative habits resolve any of our woes? No. Then why do we become the cause of our own sufferings?
The reason is not far to seek. The idiotic rat race that we are run like marathon runners is the main culprit.
So we are all stressed. We don’t like anything. Further even we may start thinking that the life doesn’t have any significance and therefore it’s an unnecessary burden.
That makes stress management a critical subject of personal management and business management. Due to the ever pervading stress, we lose touch with literature arts and all other finer things of life which act as the stress busters or which may even change our negative attitude which makes anybody’s life miserable.
Other reasons of stress are as below:
Because of the impossible targets the company you are working for; you are expected to achieve. In turn, you lose perspective and don’t care fore the work life balance. You only slog for achieving your sales or other such performance targets.
Thus the professional, today, has only one goal for which he has to slog day and night and that is keeping the job secure which is necessary to run your family, to make both ends meet somehow.
Due to no break from the rut, efficiency drastically suffers and the pressure on poor man increases. The business owner doesn’t realize this. There is a stark competition out there and the CEO has to produce numbers to satisfy his hungry business owners who are always concerned with the valuation of the company.
After day’s hard work, when he returns home the only entertainment, he turns to is television. Unfortunately instead of receiving any solace, he is bombarded with only negative news. Negative news about rapes, murders, scams, fatal accidents and the like. These are all delivered in high voltage manner where reporters compete with one another to use high pitch mind disturbing voice. After all they only concerned with the TRPs.
With a view to bring some relief to the sad situation of those who suffer from the above ills, I offer a break from the mundane routine. I give below a famous poem of William Wordsworth. The words chosen by the poet create music just as imagery used creates a beautiful enlightening theme. You may enjoy reading it aloud.