Your manager comes backstage. “You guys all ready? You’ve got an amazing audience tonight!” You hold your guitar and nod to her. Except you don’t really feel ready. You feel like running away.
Or perhaps you are auditioning for The Voice. You have queued patiently for hours, and you’re up next. A couple of seconds ago, you were cool as a cucumber, but now your heart rate is rising, your hands are starting to sweat, and your stomach is growling. You feel slightly dizzy, and your legs feel numb. What’s happening? Well, you probably have stage fright.
If you’re a singer or an instrumentalist, you need to be ready so that you’re all set to give your best performance.
1. Relax Yourself
A great way to overcome stage fright is to stretch and take a deep breath. This allows your muscles to relax and delivers more oxygen to your brain, which stops you from feeling dizzy.
You can even try some Power Poses to trigger a more confident biological reaction and overcome any feeling of self-doubt.
2. Visualize Yourself Performing
Close your eyes and imagine yourself performing. You are hitting all the notes perfectly and connecting with everyone in the audience. These types of positive visualizations don’t just calm you down but also set you up for success. Your mind is a very powerful tool, so make sure it works in your favor.
It’s a great idea to practice privately, like in front of a mirror or in a quiet spot, as long as you can see yourself performing. Similarly, record your performance and analyze your movements. How honestly you assess your performance at this stage is imperative to your progress. Be forgiving yet objective – treat your temporary setbacks as areas for improvement instead of personal weaknesses.
4. Exercise to Release Endorphins
You might be exercising regularly, so make sure you don’t skip on the day of a concert. Endorphins are important! Go for a run, dance, or just hit the gym – whatever you like! Exercise is one of the best anxiety management tools out there. Remember not to over-exercise and tire yourself. Save some energy for the show.
5. Avoid Caffeine
Your body gets flooded with adrenaline before a concert or an audition. You really don’t have to charge yourself anymore. As a matter of fact, high amounts of caffeine can actually make you trigger some anxiety. Thus, opt for herbal tea instead of a latte.
6. Make Eye Contact
Don’t act like a zombie on stage! Connect with the crowd. Good stage presence involves communicating with the audience. Look them in the eye and show your emotions.
Remember that showing nervousness is better than not showing any emotions. Connecting with the crowd will help you take control of your nerves. Believe in yourself, your music, and the crowd will too!
Last Few Words
Stage fright is extremely common, and many people experience it when performing for the first time. Nevertheless, being onstage needs to be a fun experience where you have a great time, so don’t be too tough on yourself. Improving takes time and requires a lot of skill, so it’s important to work your way up one step at a time.