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.

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Quick ways to improve confidence

Even the queen of confidence Lady Gaga has to call a friend sometimes

Confidence is a state of mind. I love that Henry Ford quote: “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Everyone involved in magic and psychology knows that imagination is extremely powerful. If you’re worried about something – an exam, a job interview, a talk – you can use this power to picture it all going your way. Use all your senses to really transport yourself there, feeling happy, with everything going to plan. It might feel a bit silly but I promise it works amazingly well!

Also try ‘working backwards’ from the goal. If you want to be a happier person, making yourself smile a bit more will help get you there. If you want to be more outgoing, spend some time with outgoing people – pay attention to how they talk and stand. Surrounding yourself with positive people will really help.

Check out some of these booksthese great tipsthis wise article, and the TED talk over the turn about ‘creative confidence’ by David Kelley. It’s pretty inspiring, and helps to put things in perspective:

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How not to impress the ladies

The most well-known pick-up artist is probably Neil Strauss, author of The Game. It’s interesting to read about this weird subculture, and one thing’s for sure – he’s a very talented writer.

Check out this funny video of Neil chatting up Jessica Alba. It’s embarrassing to watch but it’s almost impressive when he gets her to talk about herself without mentioning her looks or career. He almost gets her interested – then blows it by talking about how ridiculously nerdy these guys are. His advice:

“Men are always trying to sell themselves to women and brag about what they do… You’ve got to flip the script and make someone who has absolutely no interest in you start selling themselves to you”.

Strauss has talked about the ways pick-up artists use magicians’ psychological techniques and even tricks to wow the ladies. It seems to be very effective. Check out the 70s crime-fighting magician below. This chick simply can’t say no after seeing him pull the head off a dove: