Let’s learn how to recognize and combat stage fright!
Most folks get nervous before and during the beginning of a presentation. That’s completely normal, as you’re about to see and learn about in the three clips posted below. The key is to learn how to handle that nervousness so that it doesn’t interfere with our presentations.
During my entire first year of teaching, I would get incredibly nervous before the start of each class. Negative “what-if” thoughts would go through my mind: “What if I say something silly?” “What if I don’t know how to answer a student’s question?” “What if I forget some important information to tell my students?” “What if I trip and fall as I’m walking into class?” And the list goes on….
I’ve learned how to handle this throughout the years. First and foremost, the more we do something, the more comfortable we become with it. So, the more you practice your speech, the more comfortable you’ll feel when it comes time to present. Most folks should practice at least five times before presenting.
Also, I learned how to not take myself too seriously. If I make a mistake, I laugh about it instead of getting flustered. I’m human and make errors sometimes; we all do. Laughter helps to lighten the mood and smooth out any rough edges.
What we shouldn’t do is admit how nervous we are because that will draw attention to our nervousness. That’s all the audience will focus on if we admit it. Also, apologizing and / or saying that we haven’t prepared or haven’t practiced enough are not good tactics to use.
Taking a deep breath and “centering” ourselves will help to combat some of that nervousness and help us feel in control. This will help us appear confident.
I have included three items for you to watch below. After you’ve watched them, answer the two questions posted at the bottom on a MS Word document and upload it here before the due date.
1. Here is a hilarious clip from the 1950’s sitcom “The Honeymooners” that perfectly exemplifies stage fright. In this short clip, the two main characters — Ralph and Ed — are putting on a live television commercial for a product they’ve invented called “The Handy Housewife Helper.” Back in the 1950’s, commercials were performed live. When they were rehearsing, Ralph was as cool as a cucumber. However, when it goes live, well….
2. Here is a TED ED Talk about “The Science of Stage Fright”:
3. Finally, here’s a TED Talk in the form of a song titled “How I Beat Stage Fright”:
After watching all three, upload a MS Word document with the answers to these questions:
1. Describe what you learned and / your reaction to each of the three clips.
2. What techniques did you learn about in these clips that you’ll try to implement when your time comes to present?