If you're struggling with stage fright, don’t worry, because you're not alone. Many people experience anxiety and nervousness before performing or speaking on stage in front of a big audience, but it's possible to overcome these feelings with the right mindset. In this article, I’d like to discuss some tips and techniques for overcoming stage fright.
One important factor I would normally suggest to my students is to think that you're not "performing" or "acting" on stage - you're simply sharing your or the character's story or ideas with the audience. It's important to remember that the script is just a description of events and thoughts, and you don't need to treat it as something to “read correctly with the right emotion”. Instead, focus on chatting naturally with the audience, by using the original words and phrases in the script or sometimes whatever comes naturally to you.
Another key aspect to consider is the audience's perspective. People in the audience are generally more interested in what you have to say than in how perfectly you read or perform, as well as any mistakes you might make. They want to learn from you, be inspired by you, or be entertained by you. So, shift your focus from your own fears and insecurities to what you can offer the audience and how you can make them understand what you are sharing better. And then develop your performance techniques to surprise them further.
- To build confidence and become more comfortable on stage, it's important to practice regularly. Familiarize yourself with the performance space, and practice your delivery and pacing until it feels natural. There is a magic question I always suggest to my students: “Do you talk like that normally?” This could extend to “Do I talk like that normally when I am happy/sad/angry/jealous..etc?” And I want you to look at the people you are talking to with eye contact as well, and also I hope you treat the stage as a playground that you enjoy so much playing there rather than a scary test room where you are judged by others.
Other strategies for overcoming stage fright include other voice and acting techniques which you can find in my online classes. These techniques can help you calm your nerves and stay focused during your performance.
In summary, stage fright is a common issue that many people face, but it doesn't have to hold you back from achieving your goals. By focusing on natural communication with the audience, shifting your perspective to the value you can offer, practicing regularly, and using the correct techniques, you can overcome stage fright and deliver a successful performance.
Learn with Tony Chen:
With 15+ years of professional voice over performance experience, bilingual English/Chinese voice actor Tony has honed the ability to effectively grab the listener’s attention and engage with them through his crisp, polished delivery. He has worked on projects for clients from over 10 countries, including Universal Studios Hollywood, Microsoft, Amazon, UFC Fight PASS, PepsiCo, Tiffany & Co, and more. With the unique method of "performing naturally first and then techniques", Tony’s professional voice coaching program quickly transforms your voice/singing performance to the next level."