In a study on performance anxiety , Australian researchers found that musicians who practiced deep breathing before performances were able to lower their blood pressure and increase blood-oxygen concentration. They recommend:. Perhaps the simplest way to let go of fear is to slowly, mindfully exhale. Think of the adrenaline your body gives you before a physical activity or competition. That adrenaline gives you the energy you need to perform.
Why are we trained to think this is bad in a business setting? Use it for good! If you need a more physical way to channel your energy, move around a bit onstage.
Anxiety and "Performance Anxiety"
A slow, steady walk across the stage can set a rhythm that will slow down your thinking, set the speed of your speech, and reduce the confusion that often leads to stuttering. You can also channel that energy by using purposeful gestures that are varied and congruent with your content. Try not to use the same repetitive movements because that can distract your audience. The obvious solution is for you to slow down. There are two easy solutions to reduce your speech pace. The first is to over-articulate.
Use your lips, tongue, and jaw to exaggerate your word pronunciation. Over-articulating stretches out your words and slows you down.
How to Overcome Perfectionism - Anxiety Canada
The second option is to pause. Speakers are so afraid of silence. But when you stop talking, you allow your brain to catch up. Many speakers think if they cram lines and practice until the very last minute, the presentation will go more smoothly. While we absolutely suggest rehearsing, over preparation can harm you. That will not calm you and may, in fact, make you more nervous and cause stuttered speech.
Instead, make sure you are well-rested for your talk. Studies show that people who skip sleep to study end up performing worse on tests and tasks than those who studied less but took the time to rest. From first-timers all the way to experienced C-suite executives. By improving your physical anxiety symptoms, you may be able to eliminate stuttered speech once and for all.
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- How to Overcome Performance Anxiety?
Visualize Something Positive There are two types of visualizations you can try to reduce your performance anxiety during a presentation. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse. Channel Nervous Energy Through Body Movement Think of the adrenaline your body gives you before a physical activity or competition. Get Some Sleep Many speakers think if they cram lines and practice until the very last minute, the presentation will go more smoothly. Search Search for: Subscribe Widget Get presentation news and insights delivered straight to your inbox. Related Posts.
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Scientific References Stein, M. Archives of General Psychiatry, 53, Stein, M. Setting diagnostic thresholds for social phobia: Considerations from a community survey of social anxiety.
Dr. Chris Stankovich
American Journal of Psychiatry, , ADAA is not a direct service organization. ADAA does not provide psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
For the Public For Professionals. Conquering Stage Fright. Try these 10 tips to reduce your stage fright: Shift the focus from yourself and your fear to your true purpose—contributing something of value to your audience. Stop scaring yourself with thoughts about what might go wrong.
Instead, focus your attention on thoughts and images that are calming and reassuring. Refuse to think thoughts that create self-doubt and low confidence. Practice ways to calm and relax your mind and body, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, yoga, and meditation. Exercise, eat well, and practice other healthful lifestyle habits. Try to limit caffeine, sugar, and alcohol as much as possible.
How to Handle Performance Anxiety as an Athlete
Visualize your success: Always focus on your strength and ability to handle challenging situations. Prepare your material in advance and read it aloud to hear your voice. Make connections with your audience: Smile and greet people, thinking of them as friends rather than enemies. Stand or sit in a self-assured, confident posture. Remain warm and open and make eye contact.
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Give up trying to be perfect and know that it is OK to make mistakes. Be natural, be yourself.
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