Stage fright and you
Stage fright is no fun. It’s something that people who present themselves in front of others experience all the time. But what if I told you that there’s a way to quickly and easily get over that fear? Today I want to share with you three strategies on how to overcome stage fright and take control of your voice in any situation.
As a vocal coach, I’m often confronted with questions like, “How do I keep my voice from locking up when I’m on stage?” “What can I do to improve my voice for when I’m on stage?” “How do I get rid of stage fright?” A lot of these questions come from students and clients who work in professions where they are required to be in front of large groups of people: teachers, fitness trainers, coaches, TV presenters, and moderators.
Strategy #1: Play to an audience of none
A lot of times, the best way to confront a large group of people is to literally pretend they’re not there. People feel less intimidated when they think they’re alone, so visualizing an empty room while performing can be an effective strategy for overcoming stage fright. This can be an especially effective strategy if you’ve never been on a stage or in front of a crowd of people before. The problem is that it’s easy to get distracted by voices and other noises. One thing I sometimes like to do is to wear earplugs or stick wads of toilet paper in my ears. Psychologically, this helps me block out the external noise and focus on the task at hand. Playing to an audience of none requires some imagination, but mastering this technique is a great first step towards mastering your voice in this situation.
Strategy #2: Avoid direct eye contact
Many vocalists have a difficult time making direct eye contact with members of the audience. Keep in mind that making a connection with your audience does not require that you look them in the eye; letting them think you are is what counts.
In theater, actors are taught to look at the tops of the heads of the audience members during a monologue to give the impression that you are looking directly at them. If you’ve ever been in a staring contest as kid, you know that the secret to winning is to look between your opponent’s eyes instead of in them. You can use these simple tricks to project authority and passion to your audience, without opening yourself up to the feelings of shyness that can negatively influence your vocal performance.
Strategy #3: Practice in front of a mirror
The mirror has been an indispensable tool in dance and theater for generations, and more and more vocalists realize its usefulness. Practicing in front of a mirror not only helps you see for yourself how you sing or speak, but it also allows you to put yourself in the audience’s shoes.
I usually have my students pretend that they are an audience member and their reflection in the mirror represents how they look on stage. When you can see how your audience perceives you, it becomes easier to make the necessary changes in your body language that will help you use your voice more efficiently.
Learning to overcome the psychological barriers of live presentation are a crucial first step in taking command of your voice. As I said in an earlier video, If you make the decision to present your voice in such a way, then do it with passion, with confidence, and without fear. Your voice will follow your lead. I’m a firm believer in this philosophy. You can find some more tips on how to improve your voice in this video here, so check it out when you get a chance.
So I hope you guys can successfully use these strategies to take control of your voice. If you have some other tips or strategies that I haven’t talked about yet, then leave a comment below. Always remember that these tips are just a jump-off point; understand that it takes time to develop skill and achieve mastery in anything in life, so if you found some value in this video, be sure to subscribe to my channel and click that notification bell.
And as you guys know, I’m all about helping people like you get stronger, healthier voices and bodies, so if you’re looking for a program that incorporates all of the vocal and fitness tips that I give you on this channel, please check out my VOXXBODY® workout by clicking the link here in the video or in the description below. See you guys again soon!