Imagine you’re standing in an auditorium in the middle of a large stage. The lights beam hot and heavy, and the murmur of the crowd is quiet, but still audible. You know there are people watching you. You know you have to speak. You wipe your sweaty palms on your thighs and open your mouth… but no sound comes out.
Sound familiar? According to a recent study conducted by Psychology Today, the most prevalent fear in the world is the fear of public speaking. This term includes giving speeches, participating in debates, giving presentations, and performing in plays. It’s natural to be nervous in these high-pressure situations. If your nerves get out of hand, however, it can be difficult to focus. Here are a few tips to help you manage nervousness.
One of the biggest reasons that people freak out under pressure is that they visualize the worst-case scenario, rather than imagining the positive consequences.
For example, if you’re about to take a test and you start thinking about failing and what could happen if you fail, you’ll have a hard time concentrating and giving your best effort. Try focusing on achieving your goals instead, and you should see some positive results. Ask yourself, “What’s the best that could happen?”
Another great method for overcoming nerves is to do some deep breathing exercises. What I do before an audition is close my eyes, inhale through my nose, hold it for a count of five, and then exhale through my mouth. It also helps to picture yourself inhaling peace and exhaling anxiety.
Even if you’re nervous, try to enjoy whatever you’re doing. Focus on the good, not the bad, and above all else stay positive!
What do you think?
How do you deal with anxiety? Share your tricks and tips with us in the comments section below.