Stage Fright

Overcoming Stage Fright

You hear yourself being introduced.  Your mouth runs dry.  Your heart is pounding in your chest.  There are butterflies in your stomach and you’re ready to flee… We’ve all been there.

We all have different personalities; maybe you are shy, maybe your worried that the audience wont like you, but you just love singing. At some point in time, you may find you have to sing in front of an audience (no matter how big or small)

Breathing is critical.  It’s natural to start breathing faster when we are anxious.  If you don’t get your breath under control, you are going to start your songs  sounding squeaky and breathless.  Just concentrate for a few minutes before you start singing on taking deep breaths.

Try (slowly) Breath in 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   Breath our 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Smile as you take your place, but keep breathing!   As your music starts, count your breath in time with the music before you actually start to sing.

Know your basic techniques. Once you hit the performance stage, very little of your energy should focus on the mechanics of singing.  It should be second nature to you, leaving you to concentrate on the deliverance of the song and your lyrics, so make sure you know your song inside out and feel confident that you can perform it well.   You may find it helpful to lose yourself completely in your song, feel the music, feel the emotion, and try to convey that across to your audience.    You may find it helpful to move around or gesticulate.  Sway your hips from side to side, in time with your music and feel that tension ease.

Shut your eyes if the thought of looking at your audience terrifies you, but watch you don’t trip over, or perhaps focus on a point slightly above your audience so that you don’t actually look at them, but it will appear that you are.

Stressful situation will make your mouth feel dry.  If you are prone to this, keep a glass of water handy and swill it around your mouth.  Pop a lozenge in your mouth, to stimulate saliva. These will also help if the atmosphere is dry and smoky.

Try not to rely too heavily on Dutch Courage, you may lose your inhibitions, but too many and you may end up giving a performance that you would rather forget

What if I forget the lyrics

Try to know your song inside out, so that if you do lose your way you can find your place as quickly as possible.  There’s a helpful article here if you forget your lyric, but try to sing something – anything, rather than stop dead. That’s only going to draw attention to yourself and make you more flustered.

Concentrate on your performance.  Don’t get easily distracted or put off by anything.  Stay focused, because as soon as your mind wanders, you’ve lost control and therefore lost your grip on your audience.

Generally audiences are very forgiving, and will appreciate you are nervous. Once you have sung a song or two you realise that your audience isn’t going to eat you, you will start to relax, and enjoy yourself