Overcoming Stage Fright

Posted in Life Thoughts

Assalamualaikum,

#1552 ” Salam….i wanna have some advice from u all….how 2 avoid stage fright?”Source: INTEC Confessions

Someone posted that confession up there a few weeks ago on INTEC Confessions, and somehow, it got me thinking. I’ve encountered a lot of people who experienced stage fright, I’ve came across tons of people who got extremely nervous before giving a speech or a presentation, and I’ve met way too many people who kept on saying that ‘I can’t do this, I can’t talk in front of a crowd.’

Low self-confidence, much?

I don’t blame them, though, for I was once like that. Heck, I still am, only slightly better than I was in the past. I admit, I used to have butterflies in my stomach every time I had to go up to the front and talk. Perhaps, that was the reason I talk too fast, who knows? Seeing all those eyes set on me, having all those people staring at you, judging you silently in their heads… Tell me, who in their right minds wouldn’t be nervous?

Handling a forum during MRSM TGB’s Kongres Pendakwah Muda, May 2013.
Aren’t I adorable? 😛

But Alhamdulillah, things have been getting a lot better with time. I’ve gained more confidence to talk in front of a crowd, I’ve gained more confidence to go up and face a group of people, I’ve gained more confidence in myself to know that I am good enough, despite the criticisms that I may receive.

And so, here I am, despite having problems of my own in giving a speech/presentation, trying to share some of the things that have helped me and my friends, and may help you guys too, in overcoming your stage fright. Hope it helps!

1. Practice, practice and practice.

As cliche as it may sound, practice does help in overcoming your nervousness. By practicing your presentation/speech a couple of times before you actually have to do it gives you a feel of the flow of the speech. You’d be more comfortable during the real thing, as you’ve already been through it a couple of times before.

2. Prepare yourself well.

Ammar, winner of Speech Battle 2013.
He was not born a speaker, but he tried
his best to become one :)

Do thorough preparation before your presentation / speech day. Being prepared for it will help to reduce your nervousness, ’cause you know the topic well enough. Know your points well, and know what you want to say. If you’re afraid you’d forget some of your points, don’t worry too much. You’re allowed to have small notes or flash cards during your presentation / speech, so use them wisely. And please, no last minute preparation, as this would make you even more nervous for your speech.

3. Think positively.

You’re awesome, you’re good, you’re the best there is out there. Believe in yourself, and have faith in your abilities and capabilities. Believe that you’re able to present your speech / presentation well, despite the looks that your audience might throw at you.

4. Use the power of visualization.

One: Visualize yourself giving a bad-ass presentation/speech. Imagine yourself giving a perfect speech with no mistakes whatsoever. It’d give you a mental boost to help you preparing :)

Two: Use visual aids. Have powerpoint slides. Or, if you don’t wanna do what most people do (using slideshows or videos and stuff), you can use the old fashioned way like I did for my speech last time. :3

Going old-fashioned once in a while can be worth it :)

5. Remember this one fact: Nobody will know.

Nobody will know if you forget the arrangement of your main points. Nobody will know if you skipped a sentence or two in your examples. Nobody will know if you were supposed to insert a punch line but you didn’t.

Cuthbert making jokes throughout
his speech in Speech Battle 2013

Bottom line is, nobody will know what you planned to do in the first place, so even if you messed up by saying the wrong thing or somehow skipped a point or two, just go ahead and talk like usual. They wouldn’t know and wouldn’t care, as long as your messages are delivered and understandable. So don’t stutter and make it obvious to your audience that you messed up. Just pretend that you meant to say/do what you did.

And remember, nobody will realize that you’re nervous. As long as you know how to control your body language. Walk around, use your hand gestures. Don’t stand like a statue or fiddle with your fingers. These would show to the audience that you’re nervous. If you’re walking around and using gestures, they will not see that you’re nervous, even if you’re having a zoo full of butterflies in your stomach!

6. Never expect perfection.

Sure, you’d mess up once or twice, but who cares? No one’s perfect, so just go along with it. Make a laugh or a joke, and continue with your speech/presentation. Don’t get too worked up in giving the perfect speech, ’cause there isn’t one.

7. Be genuinely interested.

Nazmi, giving a speech about
Music during Speech Battle 2013

Don’t talk about something that you dislike. Choose a topic that excites you, talk about something that sparks spirit inside of you, tell people about your interests. Whenever you talk about something that you have a genuine interest in, it’d be much more comfortable and spontaneous for you during the speech, ’cause you already know your topic inside out.

Don’t try to talk about a topic that you think would make you seem ‘intelligent’ and ‘matured’, but you have zero interest in it. You would just sound dull and boring, trust me. Instead, talk about something that’s close to the heart, so you’d be more enthusiastic and lively during your speech.

8. Have fun.

Yes, enjoy yourself while giving the presentation/speech. Don’t think of it as a burden. Instead, look at it as an opportunity. An opportunity to improve your speech skills, an opportunity to increase your self-confidence, an opportunity to grow. Laugh, joke, and most importantly, smile. :)

*******************

Now that we got those small steps covered, why don’t we take a few minutes off and watch this video? LOL. Okay I have absolutely no idea why I’m putting this up, but, what the heck. It was my speech for my Speech Communication class. We had to present one ‘Demonstrative Speech’, so I gave a speech on ‘Cross-Stitching’. Oh, and please note that I tend to talk like a machine gun (sometimes even like a bazooka), so, like, yeah, hope you can understand me -.-‘

Have fun, and to watch my other videos or vlogs (there’s currently two of them as of this moment ’cause I’m still thinking whether or not to start vlogging seriously), please visit my Youtube channel :)

Until next time, may God bless you always, and Assalamualaikum :) See you guys in the next post, insyaAllah :) 

July 27, 2013
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2 Comments

  • Reply Zinedine Zaiddin

    Siap ada Speech Battle? wuiyoh

    August 2, 2013 at 7:45 am
    • Reply Syaza Nazura

      Yepp, every year! Between classes 😀

      August 2, 2013 at 9:47 am

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