Neetika Seth
                  Psychologist, AmityCARE

Amit started crying in front of 35 students of his class for doing a presentation on his project. Neelam went blank when she came to the stage to recite a poem. Reema started sweating when her turn came to sing a song. Sunil fainted when he reached the podium.
How often do we face similar situations?
Is it normal to have anxiety? Does this only happen to me?

The answer to all the above questions is that this anxiety is quite normal. All of us face stage fright in different degrees. Mark Twain once said, "There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars". Symptoms of stage fright vary from person to person.

However, the most common ones are:

•  Dry mouth
•  Sweaty and cold hands.
•  "Butterflies" in the stomach
•  Quaking voice
•  Shortness of breath
•  Fast pulse
•  Going blank or loss of words
•  Trembling hands and knees
•  Nausea

Some of the world's most famous presenters have admitted that they have stage fright too. They also insist that some amount of stress is beneficial while addressing an audience it gives you an extra kick. One should look at the positive side of Stage fright. This fear or anxiety makes our reflexes sharper, heightens our energy levels and adds a sparkle to the eye. One becomes conscious of the way he is presenting himself and hence speaks more gracefully.

Some of the steps one can take to conquer stage fright:

•  Acknowledge that this fear is perfectly normal and you are not alone
•  Be extremely well prepared ( Practice makes a man perfect)
•  Know the room and the Audience
•  Check possible equipment you are going to use in advance
•  Dress appropriately but be comfortable.
•  Have a backup if you happen to go blank
•  Use the 4F Technique ( Find Four Friendly Faces among the audience)
•  Focus on your message
•  Learn How to Relax : Breathe deeply and evenly, for several minutes.
•  Visualization strategies - picture yourself being calm, composed, and confident in front of your audience
•  Smile


Control stage fright before it controls you.