18 tips on how to overcome stage fright and present confidently

18 tips on how to overcome stage fright and present confidently

Ways to overcome stage fright, the fear of public speaking
Stage fright

Stage fright

 

Recommendations on the test bench. Not only the recommendation to use alcohol to reduce stage fright, fear of speaking, and performance anxiety quickly backfire. Here are 18 more beneficial tips to manage presentation nerves.

Not everyone is happy about stage fright

 

Film director Michael Bay can tell you a thing or two about how stage fright can manifest itself in front of an audience. In his films like Transformers, it gets wild. But at the presentation of a new television set he had to flee from the stage because of a defective teleprompter. He lacked the words. Such a blackout is rarely a pleasure! The primeval mechanism is in all of us. In exceptional situations, it should help us to ensure our survival. So it is well-meant by evolution but rarely turns out to be helpful in today’s world. Speakers in balance are more convincing. I will help you to feel comfortable during your presentation.

What is stage fright?

 

When stage fright is felt, adrenaline and noradrenaline are released by the adrenal cortex. Typical consequences are a nervous feeling in the stomach area, the heart is beating faster, the knees become weaker, the hands moist. An unpleasant cycle begins. The reptilian brain is alert to danger and wants to improve our chances of survival. Good intentions, but…

 

 

Symptoms of stage fright

 

Typical symptoms that sufferers experience:

  • Increased heartbeat
  • Wet hands
  • Dry mouth
  • Urge to urinate
  • Discomfort

 

Symptoms that can be seen from the outside:

  • Blushing
  • Hectic speaking
  • Unsteady movements
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Shaky voice

Good to know: Most of the time, the audience is far less aware of this than those affected fear.

Causes of stage fright

 

Possible causes for stage fright are:

  • Perfectionism
    Those who want to be perfect often achieve the opposite by doing so. So tense it becomes more difficult.
  • Poor or no adequate preparation
  • Inexperience
  • Lack of routine takes up a large part of the attention.
  • An unpleasant experience in the past
    Early traumatic experiences often play a role, especially in cases of very intense stage fright and fear of speaking. You do not have to consciously remember them and they do not have to have happened in a real performance situation. The human unconscious often has its own opinions and ways of protecting us from potential dangers.
  • Fear of rejection
  • Low self-confidence
    Brooding, doubt and self-deprecation do not encourage to feel comfortable in front of an audience.
  • Fear of failure
    In their minds, some people construct disaster scenarios that even horror movies can hardly keep up with.
  • Obstructive convictions and beliefs
    We are usually not aware of them and they seem to be all the more influential in the background.
  • Self-sabotage
  • Bad habits
  • Too much caffeine and …
    This gives the body additional stimulation and intensifies the symptoms and the nervousness after a pot of coffee increases.
  • Fear of Murphy’s Law

Household remedies to take away stage fright and speech anxiety

 

Many secret recipes are supposed to help with stage fright. Some of them do more harm than good, though.

Frequently heard recommendations:

  • Practice, practice, practice.
    Yes, and please properly and not forcefully.
  • Memorize the whole speech
    This will not be a pleasure for the audience and will cause you even more stress if you just don’t want to forget a word.
  • Teleprompter
    So does Barack Obama. Whether this can be adequately realized in your situations remains questionable.
  • Making friends with stage fright
    In principle, this is true, but there are limits to what it can be achieved.
  • Arrive early and relaxed at the venue
    A very good idea.
  • Put all text on PowerPoint slides.
    Instead, it would be better to distribute your message by e-mail and stay at home.
  • Relaxation techniques
    Yeah, a good idea for the prep. There is a wide range of choices, you will find a suitable relaxation technique.
  • Meditate
    Yes!
  • Chewing gum
    Welcome to the Wild West. Beware in Europe.
  • Bring the magic rabbit’s foot or any other amulet.
    I have no experience in sorcery and I could not find any approved studies about it.
  • Ignore stage fright, just don’t think about it.
    Easier said than done!
  • Pretend you don’t have stage fright.
    Someone said, “Stage fright is an attempt to pretend you don’t have stage fright.” But that shouldn’t lead to more pressure because you feel you have to pretend.
  • Start the speech with a very funny joke
    Beware!
  • Move back and forth a lot in front of the audience to relieve stress.
    This will neither please the audience nor benefit your mental condition.

18 tips to dissolve and relieve stage fright

 

There are numerous tips for dealing with stage fright. However, although they will usually bring some relief if the anxiety is deeper-seated, they will probably have a short-term effect. It is then much more recommendable to deal with the resolution of intense stage fright and speech anxiety with professional help.

1. Practice, practice, practice

 

Good preparation is essential in the case of stage fright. You need to practice as much as necessary before the performance or public speaking.

Good preparation is essential in the case of stage fright. However, it is not just a question of frequency. Especially very frequent rehearsals can further aggravate the situation if they are unfavorable.

The justified impression of being well prepared is good for self-confidence. Pressure and perfection hurt.

 

 

 

2. Develop a routine

 

It helps to develop a routine and to become familiar with performance situations. This works for stage fright, but not to the same extent for speech anxiety. This requires psychotherapeutic support.

 

 

 

3. Do not dress up

 

Wear comfortable clothes. Make sure that you feel comfortable in your clothes and do not dress up. Otherwise, you will not feel comfortable and the audience will see that. If you do not wear high heels otherwise, it is better to avoid wearing them on stage. Otherwise, it will be very shaky and the others will probably have more fun than you.

 

 

 

4. Keep calm

 

Don’t rush your speech or presentation. Start slow and allow yourself time to get into a comfortable pace. Take your time to get used to the audience and offer the audience the necessary time to get used to you. You could do that by starting with a story. Storytelling is not only helpful at that moment.

 

 

 

5. Don’t apologize for being nervous

 

Most of the time no one in the audience will notice you are nervous. Why should you tell them? You may feel yourself shaking and shivering, while your audience might not be aware of it. Don’t mention it. It will make your audience nervous too.

 

 

 

6. Support

 

Look for professional support. Let us help you maintain your condition management, uncover causes, and reduce their influence. There are coaches with the appropriate psychological-therapeutic training and the necessary certification.

 

 

 

7. Physical activity

 

Stress can be reduced by supporting movements, gestures, and facial expressions. The appropriate use of body language improves both one’s own condition and the effect on the audience. A change of location can also serve the message if it serves a strategy.

 

 

 

8. Maintain posture

 

Body language affects not only observers but also ourselves. Rely on body postures that serve the management of the condition. A good posture is not a matter of course, this also requires practice.

In addition, there is a connection with sovereign posture and mental security. So-called “Power Postures” are even supposed to have an impact on our body chemistry. Use this!

 

 

 

9. Breathing

 

Many people underestimate the effect of breathing. The use of appropriate breathing techniques is very helpful. Nervousness is accompanied by fast, short breaths and if this is not addressed, it will throw you off balance.

 

 

 

10. Self-programming

 

Constructive autosuggestions and self-programming are much more conducive than negative self-talk. Inner dialogues are often more hurtful than the most devastating criticism of other people.

 

 

 

11. Hypnobalancing™

 

If nothing else helps: Hypnobalancing™ offers proven techniques for resolving intense stage fright and speech or performance anxiety as well as promoting helpful mental states.

12. Professional feedback

 

Very few speakers can realistically assess their impact themselves. How do you make an impact, what potential is waiting to be awakened? Professional feedback gives you the necessary feedback and hints on what you can improve.

 

 

 

13. Mental training

 

Mental training is intensive virtual training in which you experience without risks, release blockages, and strengthen your confidence.

 

 

 

14. Plan B

 

Having a few backup strategies in place is reassuring. Knowing what is possible even in a blackout gives a good feeling.

 

 

 

15. Be confident in dealing with technology

 

Use modern technology for the presentation. It can all be quite simple, but often it is not. Even using a teleprompter is not as easy as it looks. Beat Murphy and get ready. Double-check everything in advance.

 

 

 

16. Have encouragement in the audience

 

Bring a person of trust to the opportunity to speak, actual, or virtual. That feels good. For very important speeches, I sometimes sit in the audience of my clients.

 

 

 

17. Structure

 

Whether you call it workflow, structure, procedure, or rituals, it makes things easier. Familiar processes relieve the mind. Checklists, if necessary at least in your imagination, provide security.

 

 

 

18. Positive anchors

 

From chaos to calm. Set positive mental anchors for good conditions yourself or with support. Safety, confidence, quick-wittedness, humor,… Your choice! Learn from Pavlov and the dogs.

The anchor serves as a reminder or a trigger. The simplest way to explain an anchor is to think of it as a link to an emotional state. 

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18 tips on how to overcome stage fright and present confidently

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Help with stage fright

 

If you want to be successful, then you are challenged in many places to speak and present effectively, to convince and to fight for your ideas. Unfortunately, many people remain silent because they suffer from enormous stage fright. Stage fright can have a stimulating effect. But sometimes fear outweighs and the person falls silent. So many people hold back with their ideas. This is a pity, especially if someone has something valuable to contribute.

Does stage fright or performance anxiety block you and thwart your ambitions? Then get active! It is possible to dissolve your fear of public speaking.

Since 1998 I have been helping people to present themselves and their messages convincingly. During this time I have helped many speakers with intense stage fright. Because it is sometimes more than just stage fright, I have the necessary therapeutic approval. You will be in good hands with me - if you want to enjoy your performances in front of your audience.

You can judge for yourself where the effort is worth it in relation to the expected benefit. Here you can find the fees for my support.

In case you are not in Berlin right now, choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

Benefit from my experience in marketing, psychology, and communication. Find out more about me in my profile.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

You know the feeling of stage fright. How nervous do you feel before a speech or presentation? What are your recommendations for relieving and resolving stage fright?

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 1, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 1, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/alkohol-hilft-bei-lampenfieber/
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#343

Overcome your fear of public speaking, with coaching in Berlin

Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking, With Coaching In Berlin

Coaching for stage fright, therapy for glossophobia or speech anxiety, the excessive fear of public speaking
Stage Fright

Fear of public speaking

 

Does stage fright or performance anxiety block and frustrate your ambitions? Eliminating your fear of public speaking is possible! With techniques like NLP and Hypnobalancing™, you can retrain both your conscious and your subconscious mind.

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
and
2. liars.

Mark Twain

 

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.

Emile Zola

 

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.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

How do you deal with stage fright or the fear of public speaking?

We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality. Seneca

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 4, 2016
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
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T: RR
#7874

24h emergency help with acute stage fright in Berlin, online and…

24h Emergency Help With Acute Stage Fright In Berlin, Online And...

Mayday, mayday! You will soon have a presentation, a stage performance or an exam, an event that causes you great anxiety?
 
Stage-Fright

Stage fright! Help! Now!

 

You are about to have a performance in front of an audience, like a pitch, a test, a speech or a presentation, a situation that frightens you? Professional help for stage fright is also possible at short notice.

24h emergency help with acute stage fright

 

You are about to have an appearance in front of an audience, like a pitch, a test, a speech or a presentation, a situation that frightens you? Professional help for stage fright is also possible at short notice.

If it is very urgent: I offer coaching and more (yes, I have the required allowance to do psychotherapy) to overcome stage fright, performance anxiety, speech anxiety, and test anxiety.

 

 

 

Short-term help with stage fright

 

It’s easy. How to get your short-term, effective support:

  • You inform yourself in advance about the offer, my person, and the conditions.
  • Then give me a call or write me a message.
  • We schedule an appointment for my office or at your place. If a direct face-to-face meeting is not so easy, we will find a way over the phone or online over the Internet with video.
  • You get my help around the clock, 24/7.
  • You send me a short description of your problem and your goal.
  • You confirm the appointment by bank transfer, in urgent cases, you can make instant transfers, which many banks now offer. You will receive the necessary information when required.
  • To prepare for the meeting, you will receive further questions or checklists.
  • On the agreed date you will receive your help with practical recommendations, tools and more importantly applicable in the acute case: With my help, you will be in a favorable state and know how to maintain it.

Face to face at your place

 

If you prefer it face to face, I can also travel to you at short notice. Assuming I am available, and we both agree to the terms. We can meet wherever you feel comfortable; at your home, office, hotel or venue.

 

Outside of Berlin and especially for international bookings, in addition to my fees, the following will apply: 

 

  • Rental car, train ticket (1st class) or flights (international at least business class)
  • Pick-up at and return to the airport
  • Accommodation for the duration of the stay (at least 4-star hotel with breakfast)
  • Reasonable expenses

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

Acute intense stage fright?

 

You do not have to go to the hospital with stage fright, but it can still put you off track. Excessive stage fright often gets you just when you’re already nervous. And when it increases to a certain extent, it assumes an intensity that is beyond the stimulating effect. 

A typical example: The moment before you have to step in front of your audience, the fear is so intense that you want to cancel it or suspect that you can only complete it to a limited extent.

Typical symptoms of stage fright and speech anxiety

 

Symptoms of excessive stage fright or speech anxiety or performance anxiety hinder the speaker. A successful performance is then unfortunately rather questionable.

Much more helpful would be a positive excited state that does not distract too much from the performance, the audience and the speech.

 

 

 

1. Your thinking and the cognitive symptoms

 

The thoughts revolve around fears, worries, and fears that arise …

  • on your performance
  • on your rating
  • on how the audience rates you.

Devaluing thoughts, as well as one’s claim to performance, can be so strong that in the worst case one feels worthless if the speech does not correspond to one’s expectations. The thoughts and fears can occur before, during or after the speech situation and differ in intensity.

 

 

 

2. Emotional symptoms

 

During stage fright and speech anxiety we are overcome by a series of emotions. Unfortunately, there are almost always negative feelings. The emotions range from mild discomfort to panicked emotions:

  • anxiety
  • strain
  • excitement
  • nervousness
  • panic
  • mourning
  • unrest
  • uncertainty
  • despair

What feelings do you associate with your stage fright? Are there temporal or situational changes?

 

 

 

3. Physical symptoms

 

Due to the fear, the body is on alert. The sympathetic system of our autonomic nervous system releases the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine.

But as we are not like our ancestors in the wilderness quickly flee or fight the danger, unfortunately, these substances provide no helpful contribution. Instead, there are unpleasant physical reactions such as:

  • tense muscles
  • increased pulse
  • high blood pressure
  • blush
  • memory problems
  • faster breathing
  • sweat
  • stomach, intestinal problems

Everyone has their typical physical reactions that bother him the most. Interestingly, primarily the thoughts and feelings that accompany us with the physical symptoms that make them so unpleasant, embarrassing or anxious.

 

 

 

4. Behavioral symptoms

 

Typical symptoms of behavior:

  • Speak
    • The voice becomes too soft, monotonous, shaky.
    • The voice is higher than usual.
    • The speech flow is disturbed.
    • The speed of speech is too fast, too slow or halting.
    • Slips of opinion are increasing.
    • Word-finding problems
    • Stress suffers from bad breathing.
    • Breathing becomes superficially fast, hectic, flat.
    • The throat feels weird and it is often cleared.
  • The facial expressions become rigid and immobile, often masklike.
  • The body movements are hectic, angular, awkward, stiff, immobile.
  • The usually skilled handling of tools and instruments is clumsy.
  • View
    • Eye contact is avoided, is restless, often very rigidly focused on the manuscript.
    • The view is lowered to the ground or directed to the ceiling.

Some changes in behavior, such as clearing off the throat, are consciously noticed, while others are usually unaware of other changes, such as rigid facial expressions.

P.S.

 

Do you have any questions or comments?

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 21, 2001
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: February 4, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/berlin-notfall-hilfe-lampenfieberambulanz/
K:
H:
T: RR
#344

19 tips to overcome a blackout in a speech or presentation

19 Tips To Overcome A Blackout In A Speech Or Presentation

Here is what to do when you have a blackout in front of an audience
Blackout bei der Rede überwinden

Overcome a blackout

 

Blackout in a speech or presentation, so what? A brief blackout during a speech is often hardly noticeable. Learn how to overcome it!

A blackout during a speech or presentation?

 

Palms sweaty and the heart is racing. If stage fright increases over a certain level, a blackout can occur. These are moments in which the be seems to be blanc.

Blackout in a speech or presentation, so what? A brief blackout during a speech is often hardly noticeable and after a good speech, the audience usually cannot remember such an incident. It is a good occasion for speakers to convey how they handle such a situation.

Forgetting what you planned to say? For a surprising number of people, the moment of truth comes right at the start of their speech. Looking out at the audience, they suddenly go blank.

Typical situations are exams, speeches, and presentations in front of an audience or camera. Despite well-founded preparation, what has been learned can then no longer be achieved. Despite all the effort – and often precisely because of this – what was previously possible in a relaxed manner isn’t available anymore. Especially the desperate effort to get it under control leads to intensive stress reactions. “What else did I want to say? Just don’t forget anything, make everything perfect. What happens next? What was my thread?” Oh, gone is the thought, crap, it happened; a blackout!

 

 

 

Causes of a blackout

 

Imagine that: You have already given half of your presentation and are increasingly confident because your audience reacts positively. Suddenly, however, your mind becomes empty and everything you have to say disappears behind a dark cloud. And then you turn towards your audience and think, “What did I want to say again?”.

There are many reasons why a speaker can lose his focus, such as stage fright, fatigue, distractions by private topics, or by a harsh comment from the audience. It may come from nerves, lack of focus, or even over-preparing. All of this can cause a lot of stress and it does not make us better speakers. The phenomenon of going blank isn’t limited to people with full-blown speech anxiety.

Serious blackouts are comparatively rare. The worst is the fear of a blackout. It does the most damage because it prevents speakers from showing what they can do.

The most common reason for a blackout is to increase the fear of it. The typical internal dialog is not helpful. “Do not go blank, just do not fail, …” horror scenes dominate the lead. To go on stage with such a burden is generally the least favorable condition for a good speech. If this happens, the following tips will help you to deal with the situation and make you look great as a speaker.

Learn how to overcome it!​

 

 

 

19 tips to overcome a blackout in a speech

 

A blackout is like a kind of blockage in the brain. This blockade can be overcome in several ways. Here is how:

 

 

1. Repeat the last sentence

 

Do a quick rewind to the last sentences you were on. Repeat the last line you just said. This gives you time to relax and the repetition may set your brain in motion again. Repeating a sentence or a core message that has already been said seems like reminding the audience of something. At the same time, it helps to regain confidence and to continue by finding a starting point. This makes it easier to get back on track. Repeating the last sentence often helps to connect in with the last thought when we are off track.

 

 

 

2. Look at the keyword card

 

Do rehearse with your notes to be familiar with them. If you have prepared index cards with the most important keywords, it should be enough to look at them and you’re ready to go. The desperately looking look at a stack of notes, on the other hand, appears less competent.

 

 

 

3. Ask the audience

 

Let’s see if the audience has listened; “I’ve lost my place, where was I?”, “Who can summarize the past?”, “What do you get so far?”. There should be enough witnesses available.

Get the audience involved. Have them pair up to discuss an important point or to do an activity.

 

 

 

4. Pause: Time for a break

 

Take a tiny break. The pause may give you the time to remember. When your brain, has time to relax, your words will come back to you. A silent moment is usually welcomed by the audience and interpreted as a concentrated public speaker. That works if it is done well. Maintain eye contact with a single person who you like and that supports you. Looking at such a person can be calming.

Give yourself a moment. During this time you can decide how to continue. If you remember what comes next, look into the audience, and continue as if nothing had happened. In this way, the blackout is perceived as a staged break.

And if a longer break is announced anyway, take advantage of the moment.

 

 

 

5. Change of location

 

Get out of the paralyzation. Are you not able to think of anything anymore? Then go to another place in the room. Even the change of location can help to let go of mental blockage. Also, mental and physical flexibility are related. With a little exercise, thoughts often get going again. Any reason for some movement can be found, right?

 

 

6. gestures

 

Gestures help you speaking fluently and retrieve the related language easier. It makes it easier to recall what you wanted to say.

Because freezing is another manifestation of the fight and flight response, it is so höepful getting the boy in motion.

 

 

 

7. Short distraction

 

Open the window, drink a glass of water, check your notes… You will convey that you are in control and calm. Ommmmm! And then continue. Where were we right now? Ah yes …

 

 

 

8. Summarize

 

Summarize what has been said so far. Then remember what’s coming next, and it helps the audience to orientate and understand better.

 

 

 

9. Humor

 

Smile and take it self-ironically, if you do not know how to move on. Humor is the best medicine. Take this as an opportunity to demonstrate your sovereignty as a speaker by continuing to entertain the audience. Impromptu speakers appreciate such opportunities and thrive on them.

 

 

 

10. Repeat core messages

 

When preparing your speech, formulate the most important key messages of the speech. Then you can repeat them over and over again to gain time for reflection while the audience picks up the core messages. You may have to speak impromptu, but at least you know where you are heading to.

 

 

 

11. Keep going where you want

 

What you originally wanted to say is just not tangible? So what? Just say what you want. It is your stage. Continue where you think it is interesting.

And even if you make a mistake, so what? As the presenter, you have a serious competitive advantage: Nobody besides you knows what is supposed to happen. That insight alone can calm you down.

If you use PowerPoint and Co., I hope for you that you know how to skillfully come to the appropriate slide you are looking for.

 

 

 

12. Exercise

 

Send the participants in an exercise. And if you can think of no better one; let the participants share their personal experiences about the topic with their neighbors.

 

 

 

13. Be yourself

 

Hooray, the speaker is a person, how likable! Deal openly with a blanc mind. Present yourself upright, show how you deal with yourself. That tells a lot about you and your character, your personality.

 

 

 

14. The magic emergency element

 

You could prepare yourself for such a moment. Have a short, relevant anecdote or a backup activity. Use visual aids, take showpieces such as brochures, products, or something else. Choose something that your audience is interested in. And yes, that may have something to do with humor. I know public speakers waiting for such moments.

Then, if you still can’t remember, you can ask something like, “Now, where was I?” at the end of the story or activity.

 

 

 

15. Enjoy feeling energized

 

Just accept the fact that you may feel those butterflies in your stomach. That this is part of the deal for most people in front of an audience.

 

 

 

16. Positive conditioning

 

Those who, for example, have learned the appropriate techniques in mental training or who seek professional help can activate beneficial mental states. These are installed in advance and intensified in such a way that they improve the condition as if at the push of a button.

 

 

 

17. Shut up and smile!

 

Take your time and smile while regaining mental balance. Smile in such a situation as if you have a secret and just look at the audience for a while. Do it and you will look very confident. The audience will be anticipating your next phrase almost as much as you are.

Most of us know moments when we forget what we want to say when the thought that we grasped a second ago just slips away. You may recover it again the next second, or it might be gone for good. It doesn’t matter. Your speech or presentation probably won’t be diminished in the least because of that moment. Why? First, your audience has no idea what you intended to say. And even more important: whatever you do say will be appropriate in the context of your talk.

 

 

 

18. Remember your story, not your script.

 

This way you’ll never blackout again. Stories provide structure. They follow a natural, linear progression, A leading to B and C.

 

 

 

19. Prevention: danger detected – danger averted

 

The best ways to protect you against blackouts is a profound presentation skills training and good preparation. If you do not know what you are talking about, you have every right to be nervous.

In case of very intense stage fright, the tips on this page can at least reduce the pressure somewhat. Ask me personally to help you with server stage fright and even real speaking anxiety.

Poll results

 

A blackout in front of an audience…

%

… I have not experienced it but I am afraid of it

%

… I have already experienced.

%

… is not an issue for me.

The result of a non-representative survey on www.karstennoack.de (2017, n= 322)

Help with stage fright

 

If you want to be successful, then you are challenged in many places to speak and present effectively, to convince and to fight for your ideas. Unfortunately, many people remain silent because they suffer from enormous stage fright. Stage fright can have a stimulating effect. But sometimes fear outweighs and the person falls silent. So many people hold back with their ideas. This is a pity, especially if someone has something valuable to contribute.

Does stage fright or performance anxiety block you and thwart your ambitions? Then get active! It is possible to dissolve your fear of public speaking.

Since 1998 I have been helping people to present themselves and their messages convincingly. During this time I have helped many speakers with intense stage fright. Because it is sometimes more than just stage fright, I have the necessary therapeutic approval. You will be in good hands with me - if you want to enjoy your performances in front of your audience.

You can judge for yourself where the effort is worth it in relation to the expected benefit. Here you can find the fees for my support.

In case you are not in Berlin right now, choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

Benefit from my experience in marketing, psychology, and communication. Find out more about me in my profile.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

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P.S.

 

​Do you know the phenomenon of a blackout? Do you know other techniques to deal with a blackout?

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 21, 2011
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 15, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/blackout-rede-ueberwinden-faden-verloren-berlin/
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