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How to overcome the fear of the stage, the fear of the public and public speaking?


People often fear public speaking. It doesn't matter if 3-4 people are in front of you or an audience of several hundred viewers. Fear is manifested by characteristic symptoms: stomach cramps, palpitations, increased sweating, confusion, and the like. It is necessary to learn to convey information correctly and clearly. To realize the anxiety before the mass performances, you should understand its root cause, which will effectively overcome the phobia.

What is the fear of the scene?

Fear of public speaking is often manifested a few days before the event. A person begins to sort through the options in his head why his speech may not appeal to the public, be criticized and imperfect? All individuals are programmed to worry about their reputation no less than about other personal qualities. Sometimes the brain response at this point is almost impossible to control.

For example, the scientist C. Darwin, conducted a kind of experiment. He visited the serpentarium of one of the English zoos. Charles tried to keep his cool, approaching very close to the glass, behind which there were reptiles. Each time the snake was thrown, the researcher jumped to the side in a panic. In the conclusions, he wrote that reason and will cannot resist a danger that had not previously been experienced. The scientist called the reaction an ancient defense mechanism, which is quite natural.

Phobia manifestations

When a person is visited by thoughts of bad consequences, the hypothalamus (part of the brain) is activated by the pituitary gland, which is responsible for the hormone of the adrenocorticotropic type. It is aimed at stimulating the adrenal glands with the subsequent admission of a dose of adrenaline into the blood.

As a result of the fear of public speaking, the spinal and cervical muscles contract. This leads to a change in posture, the individual becomes stooped, tends to take the pose of the "embryo". Resistance to this by straightening the back, straightening the limbs leads to tremor of the legs and arms, as the body has prepared in advance for the upcoming attack.

Blood pressure rises, the digestive tract slows down the work. As a result, dry mouth, discomfort in the abdomen are manifested. Eyes react with dilated pupils, near visibility worsens, but the faces of the audience are more clearly visible in the distance.

Reasons for the fear of the scene

If we consider the common causes, then, as usual, two are distinguished by specialists: a genetic predisposition and social factors. More often, of course, these two reasons have a complex effect on a person. That is, he has naturally determined character traits - shyness, introversion, etc. Speaking of shyness, experts disagree. Some people think that shyness is shaped by parents and their surroundings.

But why, then, children, brought up in approximately the same conditions, will still be different. How many young children there are, some of whom easily and naturally speak to strangers, recite verses, they are unfamiliar with the public’s fear and are not constrained, while others refuse to do so outright. Although the two types of these children live in a family environment of constant encouragement. Most likely, it all depends not only on external influences, but also on the way a person responds to these influences. Moreover, creative professions suggest a peculiar character and temperament in people. Such people love the attention of others, they are pleased when many people see them, especially when they positively assess their abilities. Sometimes people are afraid of some people's company. For example, a person is afraid of speaking to important people or celebrities. Or when a lot of people are present.

It is a completely different matter when a person needs to learn to speak publicly because of his social status and profession. He has to overcome the fear of the scene through trial and error. No matter how afraid he is, he has to do it. And if from childhood he was not used to reading poetry from the stage or had never participated in theatrical school productions precisely because of his personality traits, it is more difficult for him to cope with his fears. Nevertheless, when deciding to overcome his panic, he will learn to speak to people without horror, and will express his thoughts with inspiration and emotionality.

Self-doubt causes fear of public speaking

Why is man afraid of the scene? Most likely, he is not self-confident. If this uncertainty is exclusively situational, short-term, then this is normal. Everything is much more complicated when it is a constant life companion of a person. This must be dealt with. Self-doubt (in a global sense, as a psychological state) is formed in childhood. Keyword - formed. It does not occur simultaneously. Her predecessor is again fear. When a person is afraid, he is not self-confident. In childhood, a child has many potential sources of fear. But when he receives support from his parents, he is little afraid. Not receiving this support at all or very little, he is forming an increasing number of fears. Therefore, it is so important to inspire self-confidence from childhood.

Do not confuse shyness or shyness with self-doubt. Despite the apparent similarity, these concepts are still different. Shyness is a character trait. And self-doubt is a psychological state in which a person is constantly. Shyness is not manifested in everything; it is not constant. For example, once in a familiar situation, a person ceases to be shy. And self-doubt constantly accompanies a person. Whatever he undertakes, a self-doubt man is chronically afraid of everything. Self-doubt is only accompanied by shyness, shyness, indecision, suspiciousness, denial of one's own significance. It includes many character traits. Sometimes aggressiveness, the desire to command or to keep everything under control is manifested here. Therefore, if acting on stage is prevented precisely by self-doubt, then it is difficult to do without a serious course of psychotherapy.

Ways to combat scene fear

The reasons for the appearance of fear of the scene, as well as any other, are the genetic prerequisites and social components. Genetically transmitted: a tendency to certain types of fear and psychological characteristics of the individual and fear of society in general. Society in ancient times was perceived as synonymous with the word security, and even life. In the community, it was much easier to get food and protect oneself from wild animals. If a person in the community gets sick, they will cure him, if he doesn’t get food, they will share it. Outside the community, life was very dangerous, and surviving alone was pretty difficult. Therefore, we are afraid of being rejected by other people, we are afraid of social isolation.

Among the main psychological characteristics that are transmitted genetically: temperament, accentuation, and neuroticism, on which character is formed. Similar psychological characteristics of parents and children give rise to the similarity of their fears and a certain type of perception. Against this background, the fear of the scene is formed. The true sources of fear of public speaking are social factors: lack of education, bullying in childhood, a negative perception of speaking at school, a negative attitude of teachers, a negative assessment of the child's activity by parents and teachers, and other social factors. In addition, social fears are often transmitted in the family. An example of improper behavior is the intimidation of a mother by her departure, or the fact that she will not love the child. The cause of the appearance of scene fear may be a distortion in the direction of the impact of fear, due to the effects of stress and the negative factors of globalization and urbanization. Fear of the scene can manifest itself in people with various backgrounds and qualifications. It is widespread among ordinary people, but actors, musicians, politicians, and athletes can also experience it. Fear of the scene can be caused in any situation, for example, due to a lack of trust in the audience or poor preparation. Also, a possible reason for the appearance of fear of the scene is the desire for the ideal.

Ways to combat scene fear [edit |

Aspects Affecting Public Fear

Here are three main points. The first of these is a genetic predisposition. It greatly affects the behavior of the individual in society. For example, the famous musician J. Lennon performed at concerts thousands of times, while the appearance on the stage was always accompanied by bouts of nausea.

Some individuals at the genetic level have a code of significant public concern. It is believed that a small jerk before the performance refers to the signs of a good speaker or artist, worried about the quality of his actions.

Degree of training

How not to be afraid to speak to the public? One option is to conduct thorough rehearsals to enhance experience and reduce nervousness. A prepared speech or other public action does not cause such a fear as a spontaneous or hastily designed presentation.

In evidence, they conducted an experiment on billiards. A group of psychologists divided them into two categories: some played in front of the audience, others in solitude. Strong representatives rolled more balls just speaking to the public, and weak players showed worse results.

Main risks

Here are a few points:

  1. The fear of speaking will intensify if everything is at stake, or a lot of people are watching the presentation. The likelihood of failure significantly reduces the speaker's reputation.
  2. Due to nervousness for one's own status, adrenaline production increases, characterized by a panic attack and paralyzing fear.
  3. Even online sellers have a reputation for their own. Studies have shown that the positive recommendations of a manager at one well-known online trading platform increase the price of goods by 7–8%.

How to overcome the fear of public speaking?

Knowing the reasons for the fear of the scene, you can begin to overcome the phobia. If it is in an advanced stage, it is best to contact a psychologist-hypnologist, for example, Baturin Nikita Valerievich. He will help to find the root of the problem, will make the correct solution scheme.

Frequent conference attendees noticed speakers who sorted through their material for some time before the talk. It is the same if an artist crammed before a concert of a song. In addition, this is not entirely respectful for the audience of listeners who spend their time on the speaker.

Some tips on how to stop being afraid of public speaking and prepare well for them:

  1. 5-7 days before the event, it is advisable to outline a storytelling plan, delving into the content and reinforcing important thoughts with short signatures and diagrams.
  2. This approach will give the speaker confidence, will highlight key points, and leave room for additional study and rehearsal of the slides.
  3. The fear of public speaking will decrease if you write a detailed plan of the work presented. It includes an introduction, disclosure of all planned topics, supported by abstracts, examples from life, the final part.
  4. The format following the example “thesis-example-thesis” makes it possible to visualize the submitted information, to convey to the audience the essence of the presentation.
  5. In the introductory part, they talk about themselves, as well as voice the main thoughts of the report, which make it possible to interest the public.
  6. Rehearse each part of the performance several times.
  7. Read the work completely at least 10 times in a row.

How to overcome the fear of public speaking with rehearsals?

During the preparation of the speech create an atmosphere as close as possible to a real speech. This will make it possible to level out moments of uncertainty, to spend less energy and effort on thinking over nuances.

A few years ago, a team of researchers found that in front of a person’s gaze there is a mass of visual stimulants, while the brain responds to only 2-3 objects. How to overcome the fear of public speaking using this fact? It is necessary to concentrate on communication with students and the quality presentation of your report. Should you avoid stress in trying to remember the slide presentation order, or where is it better to be on stage? At rehearsals, you need to use the same slides, accessories and equipment that will be used at the presentation.

How not to be afraid of the scene before going out?

The most exciting and tense moment is the last seconds before a public appearance. To overcome nervousness, they go to a secluded place, pull their hands up, take several deep breaths and exhalations. This stimulates the functioning of the hypothalamus, followed by the production of relaxing hormones.

According to the results of scientific research, the slow breathing technique tested on 46 experienced artists showed that the effectiveness of the exercise is to reduce nervous tension. The technique is relevant for people prone to excessive excitement. The fear of public speaking is especially strong a few minutes before the report. Therefore, before going out of the scene, stretch and breathe.

Psychologists' recommendations

Mastery in the art of public speaking is achieved due to the quantity that develops each time into quality. Each new report or presentation will be accompanied by a lesser fear of failure. This is another way to overcome the fear of the scene?

You should start with events of a low level. For example, a brief description of your next family vacation. Then shift to other people, gradually increasing the number of audience, if possible.

The scourge of many speakers is the frequent inclusion of interjections. A few long “mmm” or “uh” will not be critical to the overall picture. However, accompanying them with all the slides and excerpts of the program will only disorient and distract the audience. It is rather difficult to refuse these parasitic words, especially if they have become an integral part of the vocabulary. A psychologist can help with this. Alternatively, hypnotherapy, which allows subconsciously eliminating the problem.

Another way to eradicate “annoying” interjections is to apply a breakdown technique that includes dividing the report into short verbal blocks with short pauses between them. After a couple of semantic sentences, there is a two-second break, after which another two or three statements are voiced. So speech will receive a given rhythm, which will minimize the introduction of parasitic words.

Fear of speaking out publicly is called a stage fear. Many have it, its eradication is directly related to the search for the root cause. It must be understood that presentations to a wide audience are an integral part of career growth. Awareness and getting rid of the problem is an important step for work and inner confidence.

Ways to get rid of yourself

To help solve this problem comes the recognition of several positive attitudes:

  1. Statistics. Some researchers claim that stage fear is the second most important human fear, after the phobia of death. This is a very controversial fact, since the basis of surveys and checks is not entirely clear. However, the fact that this fear is common is undeniable. Moreover, the degree of anxiety - from mild excitement to panic attacks. For example, the famous violinist D. Oistrakh, was very worried before each concert on the rise. A successful performance secured a certain reputation for him, which he panickically feared to lose.
  2. Before you understand how not to be afraid of public speaking, remember that the excitement before the mass audience is not a pathology, but a natural acquired quality of the individual. This fear was experienced by many speakers and artists. Outwardly, this was not noticeable, although internal excitement was present unequivocally. Conclusion - they defeated anxiety.
  3. How to stop being afraid of the scene? Getting rid of fear is not so difficult. If you want this for real, in advanced cases - consult a specialist. After a few sessions, social phobia will remain in distant memories.

All achievements and failures of a person are mainly formed in the head. Even one positive approval of these attitudes contributes to the growth of self-confidence. The main thing is not to go in cycles in the negative moments which cannot be excluded from life.

Thorough preparation

If you are well prepared to speak, to calculate all the possible weak points, it will be very difficult to make a mistake. Here, one valuable thought of M. Norbekov suggests itself: “Victory becomes inevitable if you do not leave a single chance for defeat.” Here we are talking not only about the mechanical memorization of the text, for example, but also about the study of all its weaknesses. What is most difficult should be rehearsed thoroughly. Когда планируется выступать перед большим количеством людей, отрепетируйте свое выступлению перед небольшим количеством знакомых.

Желательно, тех людей, кто сможет поддержать, а не критиковать все подряд, в том числе и вас. Preparing for a performance should also be fun. You should always write down your thoughts. The topic of speech should be considered more than one day (if circumstances allow). You can’t hope for a sudden inspiration on Saturday evening, if you need to speak already in the morning on Sunday. It is useful to speak at least in front of a mirror. Or record yourself on a video, then watch it, analyze your manner of staying, voice, facial expressions, posture, clothes. This is all very important when speaking. If you are planning a speech, participation in a seminar and the like, then you need to prepare information several times more than required. Further study of the information gives more confidence. Even if it is not used in the performance.

Positive attitude

If you endlessly think about the bad, it is bound to happen. No need to program yourself for failure. More positive thoughts. Including about yourself and your abilities. In no case should you blame yourself or think badly of yourself, calling offensive words, not even out loud. Especially it is not worth loudly declaring your shortcomings or weaknesses in front of a large number of people.

Actually, only very close people should know about your shortcomings. Criticism of outsiders can hurt and deprive faith in oneself. Especially, people are emotional, impressionable, sensitive. Before the upcoming performance, use the affermation method - write down positive statements about yourself on paper, hang them around the house. Read them, think about them. Speaking out loud will be more effective. It is important to “catch the drive” from the process. If a person is poorly prepared, instead of a drive you can hear a boring, just mechanically worked out performance. The performance process should cause a healthy excitement and emotional lift. You need to love in advance what you will do. To “skip” this through yourself and your emotions, your brain and soul.

Work with physiological manifestations of fear

You need to learn to control your fear and its manifestations in terms of physiology - sweating, palpitations, trembling voices and hands. How? Useful breathing exercises. You can get distracted with exercise. Even if there is internal resistance, it is difficult to carry out exercises, you need to make every effort of the will and focus on physical exercises. At first, everything will be performed, possibly only mechanically. But over time, genuine enthusiasm will come. So the brain will reboot. Fear will recede. Learning to cope with the physiological manifestations of fear, really overcome it psychologically.

Analysis of your fear

Your fear needs to be rationalized as much as possible. Sitting in a calm atmosphere, recall manifestations of fear, your feelings, describe them verbally, aloud. Or at least write. Then be sure to read it. Discuss them with another person. It is better to find an ordinary listener, rather than a lover of criticizing and giving out strange tips that he himself had never followed in his life. Need moral support. You need to decide for yourself why you are afraid of the scene.

For fear of ridicule? Will it be a blow to pride? Or does the financial situation depend on this? What happens if there is a failure? Will you lose something important? How terrible this failure will be. Feel it. Imagine this failure happened. What's next? What exactly has changed in life because of this. How will you live with it further. How to feel. What will happen later, as time passes. Most likely, nothing catastrophic. More often we are only afraid of the consequences, and not of the fact of accomplishing something. If the defeat is regarded as a global life problem, then the point is no longer in the phobia of the scene, but in the situation that may arise due to the defeat. Then you need to work with her, and not with the fear of the scene.

Fear of public speaking as a phobia

When fear reaches the level of phobia, the situation becomes much more complicated. Any phobia is often only a manifestation of neurosis. To cope with a phobia, it is necessary to solve intrapersonal problems. If these problems do not exist, then the person will cease to “hide” in his phobia. Fear is convenient for people. It allows you to avoid complex decisions, responsibility for their actions. Instead of trying to overcome it, a person hides behind him. Allows you to shift your responsibilities to others. A mature person knows how to be responsible for his decisions and within the limits of healthy criticality assesses his behavior. By conquering a phobia, a person conquers himself. And this is the most difficult. But glossophobia is overcome by psychotherapy with a strong desire to work on yourself. It is good to read specialized literature. Useful trainings and training courses.