Vanessa Van Edwards gives us an in depth strategy for dealing with stage fright.
Vanessa Van Edwards is a public speaking and body language expert. She has been interviewed on The Today Show, ABC News, and Forbes, and her TEDx talk has been watched over 1.5 million times. Vanessa shares a great story about a client of hers who had a bad case of stage fright.
In the video, she shares how he used to be afraid to speak in front of anyone but now he is an award-winning public speaker with powerful presentations. Vanessa identifies three things that can help combat stage fright: being as prepared as possible, taking deep breaths, and giving an improvised speech as practice for your big presentation.
Nothing is worse than when you’re about to walk onstage for a performance, audition or presentation, and you get stage fright in this video. I want to teach you seven steps to conquer it.
My [ Music ] name is Vanessa van Edwards and I am lead investigator at the science of people. A human behavior research lab. I love setting the hidden forces that drive us and, unfortunately, nerves, Anxiety and fear are some of the negative forces that can hold us back.
These can especially rear their ugly heads right before those big moments. This is called stage fright or performance anxiety, and it can happen before or during any appearance in front of an audience wonder if you’ve ever had it here are the official symptoms or performance, anxiety, racing pulse and rapid, breathing dry mouth and tight throat trembling Hands knees Lips and voice sweaty and cold hands nausea and an uneasy feeling in your stomach vision, changes yeah stage fright is no joke; it can even make your vision, blurry or tunneled. So what do we do? How do we combat these symptoms? To find out? I went to the expert on this topic.
Don Greene Don Greene is a leading sports psychologist. He has coached the u. s.
Olympic swim team served in the US Army Special Forces as a green beret and Trained the San Diego Police, SWAT team. If anyone knows about performance anxiety, it’s him in fact, a few years ago I stumbled upon his book fight your fear and win. When I was trying to combat my own stage fright, he gave me seven steps that I still use when I present and now I want to teach them to you.
Step number one form your clear intention when you think about stage fright, you often think about anxiety or nerves, but often the Precursor to nerves is confusion or chaos. When our thoughts are scattered, when we’re rushing around, we don’t feel centered, it’s almost impossible to feel confident and often right before a performance or a big meeting. This can lead to stage fright.
So the very first thing dr. green tells us to do is pick one clear intention. What’s your goal, what’s your hope? What do you want to achieve with what you’re about to do? This intention Should wipe away any and all other thoughts, and you should think about it, while you’re getting ready, driving or pumping yourself up for your big moment.
A great intention example is something simple: for example, if you’re gon na go into negotiation, it might be get the buyer to sign and stay firm on numbers if you’re going into an audition, it might be play my heart out and hit all the right notes. Special note, the most important thing about a good intention Is to keep it positive, don’t use words like don’t or no so, instead of don’t mess up, say, stay confident, set number two pick a focal point. One of my favorite of dr.
Greene’s tips is about picking a focal point. He says you should pick a far-off unimportant point in the back of the room or auditorium later. You’re gon na use this point to throw off your nervous energy.
This is an interesting concept, because dr. green isn’t asking you to ignore your nervous Energy he’s asking you to redirect it. I tell you how to do this in step number seven, but for now just have a focal point.
That will be the gathering place for your nervous energy special note. If you don’t know the room you’ll be in or on the way to a location you have never been to before. You can also use what I call a grounding prop.
I have a pen I use. That is my focal point. I imagine flinging my nervous energy towards it and then put it down on the podium or Table it’s a really interesting mental trick.
You feel nervous, then mentally. Imagine all of your nervousness into that darn pen and then you put it down on the table. It tricks your brain into thinking.
You have let go of the anxiety, powerful and simple set number three breathe. Mindfully oxygen is really like magic. We needed to live, but it also counteracts all the physical feelings of nervousness.
The problem is because we need it to live, we Don’t even think about breathing it in, and so, when we’re nervous without realizing it, we take shorter, more shallow breaths or hold our breath entirely. This exacerbates the cycle of anxiety, making us lightheaded dizzy and even more out of breath. So dr.
green advises going into mental preparation to breathe, purposefully. First, close your eyes second breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, then push out your belly with each Breath. This deep belly, breathing and closing your eyes will help focus and Center.
You set number 4 release muscle tension. When we get anxious, we tighten everything we clench our jaw tense, our shoulders squeeze our arms to our side or in front of us. Even our stomach gets tight.
This is terrible for blood flow and anxiety. Dr. green recommends progressively relaxing your body.
This is starting at your head or your toes and slowly relaxing each muscle, one. At a Time, each area of your body gets an inhale, so you can think relax my feet. Relax my shins relax my thighs one breath at a time.
This is a great exercise because it physically relaxes you. It also has the added benefit of mentally distracting you, instead of thinking about everything that could go wrong or all the last minute things you need to remember. It focuses your brain on something calming.
Let’s try it together, I’m gon na walk you through a Progressive relaxation exercise. You can do this yourself, anytime, you’re, starting to feel nervous. First, take a few deep breaths and shake your body out now.
We’ll do one breath per area of your body close your eyes and think of relaxing each of these areas. Deep breath, relax your face and all the muscles around your eyes deep breath, relax your jaw and neck deep breath loosen your shoulders and relax your Chest deep breath, relax your arms and hands and make sure they are completely loose deep breath. Relax, your stomach and ab muscles deep breath.
Relax your glutes and thighs deep breath. Relax your shins and lower legs deep breath. Wiggle your toes and completely relax your feet ah feels good right, set.
Number five find your Center dr. Greene says that thinking about our physical center can also help ground us think about the spot, two inches below Your navel and two inches below the surface of your belly. For me, right now, since I’m pregnant, that happens to be a right where the baby is, for you probably not pregnant.
This should be a deep spot inside your tummy dr. Greene says we can focus on this spot to calm our mind, you can even combine step four and five and think about relaxing this spot with each breath. Step.
Number six repeat your process: cue in the very First step, we talked about your intention. This was your goal or desired outcome for your performance. A process, cue, is how you want to achieve that intention.
What mental or physical reminder do you want for yourself? As you process and go through your performance, for example, an interviewers process, cue, might be smile and ask great questions or a violinist process. Cue might be smooth and good tempo if your public speaking it could be, keep it positive And engaging think about how you want to achieve your goal. What kind of tempo do you want? What feeling do you need to fuel you? This is your process, cue and you should think of it internally as you pep talk when you’re getting yourself ready, transitioning and during your actual performance to keep you grounded step number seven direct, your energy.
Remember that focal point we in the back of the room. This is your Dumping ground for excess nerves, anxious energy and bad thoughts. If you just tell yourself, don’t be anxious, it doesn’t work, but if you redirect that energy somewhere else, it can have a very relieving effect.
Dr. green advises that, as you start your performance or begin to feel anxious, just take that nervous, energy and mentally hurl it towards that focal point. It will give you the amazing lightness of throwing off a heavy backpack and it’s a powerful mental Exercise to combat nerves.
Take all these seven steps together and you have a systematic way to combat any kind of performance, anxiety, save this video and replay it or listen to it before your next big thing from myself and everyone here at the science people. We wish you the best of luck and break a leg. We know you can do it know someone who has a big meeting or performance coming up, send them this video.
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