Stage fright: When adrenaline is flowing through your body
Tachycardia, sweating palms, heavy breathing? Nothing influences a presentation more than your fear. Fear is a common experience of speakers, actors, politicians and almost every person who has ever been introduced. People get nervous when they have to speak in front of others. We all suffer from a certain degree of stage fright. Some people are particularly intense. That’s why some people avoid situations of public speaking, they don’t know how to deal with the fear of presentation.
The feeling of stage fright is bad enough, but what is worse is the damage it can do to your career and self-esteem. If you let yourself be prevented from doing the important things, your self-confidence will diminish and your stage fright will grow bigger and stronger.
Our body’s response to stress: Fight or flight?
Stage fright is associated with fight or flight syndrome. When a person is confronted with a threatening situation, the vegetative nervous system releases adrenaline into the bloodstream. Adrenaline produces most of the symptoms that people associate with stage fright: flat, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, tremors, and nervous nerves.
These reactions can be helpful for an organism faced with a valid threat to survival. But none of these effects helps speakers convince an audience and feel good about themselves. Unfortunately, the autonomic nervous system does not distinguish between real and hallucinated threats. If the mind perceives the threat as dangerous enough, although a rational analysis would say otherwise, the brain stem begins to distribute the adrenaline.
It is therefore not only in the imagination a problem. It is also in your body. It takes thirty minutes or more for the adrenaline to dissolve, so the adrenaline and adrenaline-related symptoms persist in the body for a long time after they are released. One result is the jittery nerves of stage fright.
Often someone prone to stage fright misinterprets these symptoms. Thus, it strengthens the fear of the effects of stage fright more and more. As a result, more adrenaline is released into the blood and a vicious circle begins.
Avoidance leads to more problems
Some people are so desperate that they avoid accepting jobs where they need to speak publicly. This is not only a disadvantage for the individual, but also for the countless people who will miss what that person has to say. Speaking is power and power is connected with responsibility. Those who evade responsibility leave decisions and the influence of shaping the world to others.
Public speaking and stage fright?
If you want to be successful, then you have to talk and present effectively, convince and fight for your ideas. Maybe someone in a meeting asks you if you want to present your project, or maybe you’re standing in front of a crowded conference room giving a presentation that could advance or end your career. This can put you under pressure. That’s why some people don’t feel inspired in front of an audience, but just panicked. Not everyone knows how to deal with this kind of fear.
In terms of public speaking, this kind of fear is referred to as glossophobia or fear of speech, which is the fear of speaking to an audience. Stage fright can occur in people of all experiences and backgrounds, both in beginners and professionals, and can occur increasingly or suddenly.
What is so special about public speaking? Many old books will tell you that there is no reason why you should be afraid to make a public speech.
For a long time, it has been said that people are afraid because they are not prepared. So the whole focus was on being as well-prepared as possible. And preparation meant the technical part of the presentation. Do it over and over again and everything will be fine. That’s why many trainers have developed programs that are very much focused on preparation and practice. They assured the people that they would get rid of their fear in this way. It was pointed out that it can take weeks to months, but the only repetition helps to overcome the fear.
The American modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham meant:
I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.
Yes, training where you practice and practice and practice, and you show up in front of people who take care of you, and you practice your speech, and you do well – that’s wonderful. You have to practice and I want to support everyone who gives a presentation with training, I want you to be brilliant. But the truth is that it is often not enough to overcome the physiological, automatic reaction. The reaction can often be triggered by the mere thought of a podium or audience. The mere thought of standing in front of an audience does not let many people sleep. It is an unconscious reaction that has to be changed in depth.
Many people consciously understand that speaking in front of an audience is not as dangerous as it feels, but that doesn’t change anything, because it still feels terrible! Your mental and physical reactions refuse all logical explanations. Therefore, it must be changed where it originates, in your subconscious. Then it is possible to overcome even the most intense fear of public speaking!
Are you the only one with stage fright?
There are only two types of speakers in the world.
1. The nervous
If you have attended meetings, conferences or presentation training and observed the communication styles of excellent speakers, you may want to be like them. Some speakers radiate such confidence and seem to show no signs of nervousness.
The truth is that even world-class presenters usually get nervous before they enter the stage, no matter how often they stand in front of an audience. It depends on how you use this nervousness that makes a difference in the quality of your presentation.
Help with the fear of public speaking
Unfortunately, so many people keep silent because they suffer from immense stage fright. Stage fright can be a positive kind of excitement but sometimes the fear can be intense and as a result, too many people keep silent! This is sad, especially if someone has something to say.
If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.
We will never hear the advice of many excellent experts because they have stage fright. And many potential leaders are silenced by their fear; great minds avoid leadership positions or do not reach their full potential because they are unable to express themselves.
Overcoming stage fright will help you inspire others, share your vision, explain to them the context, convince them to do the right things. If stage fright prevents you from reaching your potential, it is never too late to free yourself by unlocking the inner leader.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options for reducing and even releasing anxiety, such as hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™. And there are things you can do to help yourself. The number one is trust. Trusting yourself is important. That’s why in coaching we identify the negative self-talk that always runs in our heads and replaces it with positive thoughts. And for your autonomy, I teach you some practical skills. As a result, you will develop strategies to prevent and reduce symptoms, maintain mental states in which you and your message will convince in speeches and presentations. If we do a good job, you will enjoy these opportunities.
With techniques like NLP and Hypnobalancing™ you can train your consciousness as well as your subconscious. Once the feelings of fear of public speaking have disappeared, there is no need for the brain to continue to worry, create stress, or create fear of presentation.
If you suffer from severe anxiety, I offer reduced fees for psychotherapy. Do not hesitate to ask me for details.