5 training tips to tackle stage fright
From stage fright… to stage fight
Fight, flight or freeze. These are the instincts our ancestors had when they ran into the sabretooth tiger. With the tiger, running away was an option. But in public speaking, you have to get on stage and fight. Here are 5 training tips to win.
Training tip 1: Don’t focus on the fear. Focus on the fight
It’s easy to focus on the fear of public speaking. Don’t do it! Imagine a boxer dwelling on the fear of losing. No way! The boxer puts energy into training and winning. You need to do the same.
Training tip 2: Let your mission make you strong
When you present, you are almost always trying to persuade people of something. To change their minds. To influence how they act. Whether you are selling a product or saving the world, you are on a mission. Focus on that mission. Believe in it. Let it make you stronger.
Training tip 3: Reprogram your mind (mental training)
OMG! This can be your first response to public speaking. That fear stays in the back of your mind, reinforcing negative thoughts. Well… stop it! Reframe your thinking. Focus on the positive aspects of presenting. You can change the world and make things better for people. This is a great opportunity. Take that energy with you on stage.
Training tip 4: Unfreeze your knees (physical training)
Watch any sports professional. The tennis player. The golfer. The martial artist. They all bend their knees, ready for the fight. Posture and breathing are crucial. The same applies to public speaking. Check out my talk at TEDx Venlo 2017. Unfreeze those knees. Breathe. And smile!
Training tip 5: Win by working hard
Boxers train for 1000 of hours. You win the stage fight by doing the same. Study hard. Be the expert. Know your topic better than your audience. Build your presentation skills. Watch TED Talks to learn from others. Invest in presentation training. If you want to be a good presenter… present. Take the stage every chance you get. At meetings. At events. Wherever. You win fights by working hard.