Conquering Stage Fright

Microphone

Dry mouth. Pounding heart. Weak knees. All this and more would happen to me at the faintest possibility of a public speaking opportunity. In cases where it had simply to be done, I would rush through it –  tripping over words, barely audible. Little wonder then that it has been one of my biggest fears for years. I avoided it like the plague, thinking that I am never going to really need it anyway. But life has a funny way of proving our convictions wrong, doesn’t it?

Turns out I am going to be needing it right away! I have been contacting quite a few influentials since February, and unfortunately, the response has been meh. My publisher and I have decided to change the approach: instead of contacting them by email, we will try to meet them personally. Which means instead of a convenient email, I will have to talk to them face to face. Get them interested in my book in  5 minutes or less. And the bigger problem is not that it’s intimidating, it’s that my elevator pitch sucks.

Well anyway, if it’s broke, it can be fixed, right? I am going to be joining Toastmasters to deal with my crippling fear of speaking in public. And who knows, maybe it will help me transition from a bathroom singer to a karaoke enthusiast ;)

27 thoughts on “Conquering Stage Fright”

  1. When I was in high school my guidance counselor thought I was too shy and had me take a Public Speaking class. That didn’t work out well, as I flunked! Never heard of Toastmasters before but I hope it helps you.

    1. A very common fear, isn’t it?
      You really must join it if you can! It truly transforms people and you will meet a lot of interesting folks as well!

      Unfortunately, owing to my packed schedule, I have not been attending the meetings regularly…only went to about 2 so far. I guess once I become a paying member, I will somehow be able to make time for them. Will definitely show up this week :)

  2. Now it will seem as if I am promoting a platform, but hey, no, I am just repeating what you said in a different manner, with a story-
    I had the same problem few years back. But, it vanished, though a little still remaining, because I dropped at a place which was a platform to bring my inner self out and help me get comfortable about speaking my heart out. The difference few years back and now is, few years back I was terrible, and now, I am not terrible and now I have my own platform and institute where I train and guide people to be better public speakers and kick the nervousness of speaking.

    It would be so awesome that we’ll have an amazing person joining Toastmasters, don’t you feel so?

    1. Really appreciate you sharing your story. Feel loads better to know I am not the only one who suffers from an extreme case of the nerves.
      That’s very kind of you, thanks :)

  3. That’s a great idea. My guess is you will get the hang of it quickly and do just fine. Work on you elevator speech too. I’d recommend having a couple versions – the 1 minute, the 5 minute and the 10 minute versions. Feeling prepared will boost your confidence! Good luck to you and remember that this is fun :-D

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence and the great tip! It will be quite painful now, but it will get better over time, won’t it?

  4. Yeah, The title of the post, made me relive my first visit on the stage.
    As mentioned about the symptoms, i felt i was in the sahara desert with an AC on my head, i didnt know what was happening, slowly the world was going dark, i was so light weighted i thought i will defy gravity and escape into space, worst of all i felt as if someone was pushing me away from the stage, and yet i was still moving towards it.
    For me all this was only until i started talking, and then was probably good enough for confidence boost.

    Yes i agree with the fact that you have confront the influential people face to face.
    You will improve your elevator pitch, your accent is very well
    All the best to overcome the fear of speaking in public. Hope it helps you in that phase.

    1. Thanks for sharing your terrifying and ultimately positive message. When did you get started and why?

      Really appreciate your kind words and best wishes :)

      1. I got started with Class 6th in school, it was a morning play at 8am on stage with around 300 students as audience, my role was cameo with few words, then leave.
        Those few minutes before the act, it was like forever, the adrenalin rush was ofcourse there, but it was only after i did that, i felt as if i could do anything and all the fears were shredded off my mind.
        Though the act was not much, it was still a big step for me.
        After that i took part in a QAWWALI SINGING ACT, two years later, it was based on portraying the subjects of school PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, MATHS, as an entertaining area. Yes please do not ask how we made our lips red for the act,as you know its a qawwali, that was quite embarrasing ;-)

        1. Wow, you started young! I was expecting a college event or something!
          Alright, I won’t ask :P
          Oh and Ramadan Mubarak!

    1. I don’t know how I missed your comment. Thanks for sharing your views. For the majority of the population, public speaking is terrifying. You’re lucky if it comes effortlessly to you! However, with time and effort, anyone can conquer their fear.

  5. Overcoming fear of public speaking is very difficult and then to have to sell yourself while your doing it…YIKES. Wishing you success.

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