Stage Fear

Stage Fear?



Effective Public Speaking Index


What is Stage Fear? Somebody once rightly said. "The human brain is a wonderful organ. It begins functioning the moment you are born and does not stop until you are called upon to deliver a speech!" The most carefully prepared speeches are never heard because of this mind block called
Stage Fear, Nerves and Topophobia.

When you are seated in the audience, waiting for your turn to speak, you start thinking :

• I am scared of what might happen.

• My grammar's so bad.

• How can I do justice to such a vast subject in just three minutes?

• Ooh, look at the size of the audience!

• They all seem to be so clever. I'm making a fool out of myself.

• Suppose someone picks an argument with me.

• Oh God, what will happen if I cannot even utter a word.

• So many ladies present and I did not even shave properly.

• So many men! I should have worn my silk saree.

• What will my father / mother/ wife/ husband! Employer / teacher/ sitting in the audience think of this stupid speech?

All these thoughts make you a trifle anxious, this increases your heartbeat, you start breathing faster and 10, the next thing you know is that your mouth has dried up, your knees go wonky, your mind goes blank and you are in the grip of that universal phenomenon called Stage Fear.

So, what do you do?



• You start wringing your hands.

• You drum your fingers on the table/podium.

• You tap a pencil or keep pressing the on / off button of your pen.

• You scratch your hair.

• You tap your foot or both your feet.

• You lean on the podium / table.

• You keep removing your spotless spectacles, clean with a kerchief, put them on, only to remove them a minute later, clean them ...

• You fold, unfold or twist your hanky.

• You fidget with objects placed on the table.

• You grip the mike tightly.

• You keep pulling your \ ears, digging your nose or rubbing your eyes.

• You keep chewing the locket of your chain.

• You put your hands in your pocket.

(Or worse)

• You start jingling coins while your hands are in the pocket.

And in short, you have lost your confidence to speak.

Why does this happen?

When your brain senses your anxiety, it signals the release of extra amounts of Adrenaline an energy giving fluid into your body to help you combat the anxiety. An inexperienced person does not know how to handle this extra flow of adrenaline resulting in any or all the above manifestations of Stage fear.



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