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How to overcome stage fright

I saw a study recently that said the thing most people are most afraid of – more than getting ill or losing a loved one – is public speaking! Nerves can set in anytime, whether you’re an aspiring comic trying your first open mic gig or you’re a seasoned performer. Even professional performers get nervous sometimes. But when your heart starts racing and your throat tightens up, there are some things that really help.

1. Think happy thoughts. You need to go into ‘performer mode’. Remember the audience want you to be good. Picture them really enjoying it.

2. Nerves don’t show nearly as much as you think they do. Keep visualising yourself as confident with your audience in hand, and it will happen.

3. Be realistic. You will be nervous, try to accept the nerves rather than fight them and you’ll be able to move on and focus on your performance.

4. Practice. Because it’s partly fear of the unknown, by far the best way to get over stage fright is to do a lot of public speaking. I’ve heard Toastmasters is pretty good, give them a try.

Here’s how not to do it…

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