Overcoming Stage Fright

  • September 12, 2019



What is stage fright?

A survey once reported on the top feared things by most people. Of course things like financial problems, deep water, sickness, and death made the top ten. But… the number one fear out of all of them was stage fright.

Stage fright is anxiety, fear that is triggered by what we also know as performance anxiety. The body's biological response to a the fear of singling yourself out on a stage or open setting where all attention is directed upon you. Your throat can begin to close, your heart begins to pound, you feel out of breath, yours hands and legs are shaky, dizziness, and jitters, excessive perspiration, body tingling, dry mouth, and of course have butterflies in your stomach. Not to mention the desire for avoidance at all costs. It can develop into a phobia that is often turned on by the act or even the thought of performing in public like singing, speeches, or acting.

  • Lack of Confidence. Even though you’ve practiced a thousand times. You just don’t see yourself to be good enough to sing in front of others. Especially if you don't have a lot of practice performing in front of other people. Fear of making mistakes or worrying about geetting the right reaction from them.
  • Over thinking. When your mind gives you a list of reasons to question whether you are ready. Unless these conditions are fully and perfectly met, you may feel you will fail. In a world where we expect bad things to happen, we imagine and play every single event and expect the worse. Sit in a quiet place when you begin to feel your mind snowballing. Take deep breaths and imagine yourself performing at the top of your game.
  • Lack of preparation. The importantance of rehearsal cannot be over emphasized  . Unless you commit the time necessary to warm-up, do regular voice exercises, along with mastering your singing material, you won’t feel the confidence of being truly prepared. Remember that part of preparing is not only the part you are playing but also preparing yourself for the type of setting and audience you will be performing for.
  • Fear of crowds. Sometimes the more isn’t always the merrier. It’s you against all of them. And worse, they’re all staring right at you. Just the thought of having so many people staring at you all at once can be pretty intimitating for some. Keep in mind that they are all there to listen to you because they recognize the value in coming to see you. Focus your attention on individual people and smile at actual people rather then a massive crowd.
  • Past failures. “I could tell by the lack of applause that my last performance stunk.. I knew I should have picked a different song..I’m not sure I could get up again..”, you say to yourself. You might feel paralyzed and shut down. Keep your chin up and keep moving forward. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. That's how everyone gets better. Not even the best have strted out doing everything perfectly.
  •  Fear of being judged. With all of the eyes on you comes the realization: What they are likely thinking of you? Did they notice your timing was off at the start and how you were a little off key hitting that high note? In a crowd of onlookers you are literally outnumbered. All of these people are going to judge you. Some of them will like you and some of them won't. Can you deal with that? Here's how: realizr that in every crowd you may almost always find someone who doesn't like your performance as much as others. Now that you know that you can sit back and take a little critisisim without getting your feelings hurt.
  • Comparing yourself to others. Have you ever got up to sing a song at Karaoke, right after the most amazing singer in the room? You thought you were pretty good, but now you are feeling really intimated. Stop and remember why you are singing in the first place. Isn't it to enjoy yourself? So, don't let your ego get in the way of that. Also be happy for others and appreciate how colorful the world is with so many different voices to make it that way.

10 Ways To Overcome Stage Fright (Performance Anxiety)

1

Visualization

Have you ever heard of a remedy to public speaking? Some recommend that you pretend your audience is naked, therefore placing you in a position of confidence. Well, it’s not necessary to view your audience naked, but visualizing is a very powerful way to build confidence. It allows you to ‘experience’ success before the event and it prepares you to ‘see’ yourself at your best.

2

Posture 

How many times has your mom or dad ever told you “not to slouch”? Good posture not only makes you appear more confident and appealing. It is also one of the most important parts to singing. First it supports great air flow, which is key to a great singing. Also it helps you avoid tension, which can be detrimental to your voice.

3

Breathing

Focusing on your breathing when you are singing will enable you to relax, but more importantly keep you in tune with the movement of your diaphragm as it moves up and down. Each song requires different breathing patterns according to the pitch, pace, and power.

4

Warm Up Stretches

Performing a few warm up with stretching exercises before you perform will help you loosen up and ready yourself. Start with some deep breaths in and slow as you do some gentle stretches in your neck, shoudlers and in you back. This will prepare you to sing an entire set list of songs without having the immediate muscle tenseness from nerves.

4

Work with other singers.

If you don’t see it as a competition, you can greatly benefit by singing with others. Listen to and watch as they perform. You can learn a lot just by observing others sing. If you’re feeling really brave, give singing harmony a try. Blending one or more voices can be fun and improve your ear to music. If you don’t see it as a competition, you can greatly benefit by singing with others. Listen to and watch as they perform. You can learn a lot just by observing others sing. If you’re feeling really brave, give singing harmony a try. Blending one or more voices can be fun and improve your ear to music.

5

Feeling the emotion 

Projecting our emotions in the words and the music is a very powerful way to create energy and a connection to your listeners. We listen to music because of the way it makes us feel. So it is vital to understand and be able to express what the song is trying to convey. Is it heart break or happiness? Find out and sing accordingly!

6

Practice. 

If you really want to eliminate fear and build confidence, then repetition is necessary. That means, you need to set aside time to practice the stuff that makes a great singer. The more you can train your voice through practice, the more natural your voice will develop. Review vocal exersises from books, videos, or with a singing coach.

7

Connect with your audience

Whether you are new to singing in public or not, one little trick used by some professionals is to look for friendly faces in your audience. Observing them sing along and cheering for you can help you to remain calm and have fun. Look at each person and smile at them. They love being part of the experience by you welcoming them into your focus as they sing along with you.

8

Try Karaoke

 Have you ever sang in public before? If not, how about trying Karaoke? If you consider yourself amateur than it’s a good place to start. None of the other aspiring singers in the crowd are likely to be professionals, so there’s no need to feel self conscious. In fact, seeing others push their own fears aside and sing in public can be a great support to your ability to sing before others. Remember to show your support for others and they’re likely to support you.

9

Make sure to reflect

Getting an objective view of yourself can be difficult. So it might be suggested to rehearse either in front of a mirror or perhaps you could ask a friend or two if you can rehearse in front of them in order to get some honest feedback.

10

Take voice lessons

There’s more to singing than simply mimicking someone else’s voice to their song. It’s about developing your own voice and singing style. For some, online singing lessons have proven beneficial. Especially when it comes to properly breathing and the use of the diaphragm muscles.




Famous Despite Fears


According to an article by the Huffington Post, famous singing stars as Adele, Barbra Streisand, and many others have suffered from stage fright from time to time. Johnathan Knight from New Kids On The Block reportedly once walked off stage during a concert due to anxiety. But that never stopped him from performing.


Just like these stars, you too can overcome fear of singing in public. Remember, you’re not alone.Take the time to review the outlined singing tips.Eventually you will not only enjoy yourself by focusing on your originality when you are out on the stage, but your spectators will be having fun with you. At this stage you are unstoppable!