How to Be Confident on Stage
Do you feel your legs trembling before large audiences? Do you forget everything you memorized for discussion? You are not alone. Lacking confidence on stage is something even the most professional performers can suffer from. However, with good preparation and delivery techniques, you can handle even the biggest of audiences. If you can think it, you can do it!
Practicing Your Performance
Envision your best performance.Instead of imagining the worst scenario, challenge yourself to think more about how the performance could go well. Remind yourself why you are doing this performance, and why you believe in it. The good feelings will boost your confidence instead of increasing your nerves.
Practice often before performance day.Make sure that you know your lines, choreography, music, note cards, anything at all, completely by heart. You can go through everything daily to ensure that you won’t forget a thing. This way you won’t feel nervous about the possibility of forgetting something on stage.
- If you're participating in a debate or giving a speech, research the topic of discussion thoroughly. This will increase your knowledge of the subject matter so you can speak confidently without sounding stumped. This is especially crucial if you will answer questions after the speech!
Record yourself beforehand for pointers.If you lack confidence because you don’t know how you look on stage, record yourself practicing and watch it back. Now you will have a clear idea of what the audience will see when you go on stage, and you can work on any mistakes you see.
Building Your Confidence
Eliminate all negative thoughts.If you start telling yourself that you can’t do this, you don’t know what you’re doing, and so on, your confidence will drop dramatically. Anything that you tell yourself regularly, you start to take as reality. This will make you think that you cannot pull off confidence on stage no matter how hard you work.
- Put an end to this practice by replacing any negative thoughts with positive ones. It can be as simple as stopping yourself from thinking “I can’t do this” to “I can do this.” Saying positive thoughts out loud to yourself also makes a world of a difference.
Have your costume or favorite outfit ready to go.Pick out your outfit the night before so you are not worrying about it the day you go on stage. Choose something that you like and makes you feel secure and confident. If you have a costume, make sure that everything fits perfectly when you go into fittings, and don’t be afraid to speak up if something doesn’t feel right.
Get plenty of rest.You don’t want to appear tired for your speech or performance. Allow for your best night’s sleep the night before, whether it means going to bed early or listening to some calming music.
- This is especially crucial for dancers! Don’t overdo anything at your dress rehearsal. Coming into a performance with your brain and muscles fatigued can increase your chance of getting an injury.
Nailing Your Performance
Make eye contact with people who look especially interested.If you feel your confidence beginning to slip but see people nodding in the crowd, don’t be afraid to focus on them. This will remind you that you are doing a great job and people are interested in what you are trying to do or say. If there are no nodding audience members to be found, you can also look at a trusted family member or friend who will support you no matter what happens.
Maintain a confident posture.Hunching forward makes you look less confident, and actually hinders your confidence as well. Stand up straight, act like you are balancing a book on your head, and your feelings will quickly improve. You will also make a good impression on the audience and how they see you.
Keep your voice loud and clear.This does not mean you need to shout. Just make sure that you are speaking loud enough that everyone in the room can hear. If you have trouble with this, practice in front of a group of friends to test your “public speaking” or “acting” voice.
Don't rush the performance.Time can be a tricky thing when you are on stage. Purposefully make yourself start out slow so you can get used to the audience and your place on stage. The audience may have trouble understanding you if you speak too fast.
- It helps to keep a timer clock going as you perform, to give you a better sense of how slowly (or quickly) time is actually passing. You can keep it on your podium, or just keep it in your pocket to take out and quickly glance at between subjects.
- For dancers, pay attention to the music counts and make that a priority if you feel like you might be rushing. The music determines all of your movements!
Get the audience laughing, if possible.If permitted, ask questions, include facts they'll be interested in, and tell short stories relevant to subject matter. This will increase interaction and everyone will loosen up a bit.
End on a good note so the audience leaves in a happy mood.Be sure to end the discussion or performance with awowfeeling. If you make a mistake but finish strong, chances are the audience will only remember your amazing ending.
- For speakers, you can end with a question that will keep the audience thinking about your speech long after it ends. You can also end with a call to action that reiterates why you are speaking in the first place.
- Dancers can act like they just gave the best performance in the world to end on a good note. No matter what happened in the performance itself, smile (if choreography allows), stand up straight with your shoulders back, and give the best finishing pose you’ve got.
QuestionHow can I stop shaking when on stage?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to work out your nerves before you take the stage. Do some jumping jacks, run in place, and warm up, including your voice.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I gain confidence while singing in front of a crowd?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTake deep breaths and tell yourself you're going to be amazingThanks!
QuestionWhat if I am so nervous on stage that I start losing myself?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFocus. Look around, squeeze your fists in and out and raise your own awareness that you're on stage. Breathe in and out. And say, "I've got this."Thanks!
QuestionCan my friends help me gain confidence on stage?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAsk your friends to help you gain confidence on stage by cheering for you and giving you positive energy before your show.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I forget my line?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRemember as much as you can, and try your best not to stumble; if you do stumble, just go with it.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I'm singing on stage?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBe confident, take deep breaths and imagine they are are wearing funny hats or something. Feel that you are a star from within.Thanks!
QuestionI stutter when I sing in front of a crowd. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPretend no one is there and that you are practicing in your room alone. Count to 10, take a deep breath in and just start singing.Thanks!
QuestionI always get too nervous when I go on stage. I can't smile or breathe properly. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBefore you go on stage remind yourself that it is just like a dress rehearsal. On stage focus on the main actor as much as you can. Also, remember to breathe. If you take 10 deep breaths it reduces stress. Make sure you do things in your comfort zone, the reason you are nervous may be because you're embarrassed about the audience seeing you.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I win an Arabic reciting competition?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake sure you know what you need to say (that you have it memorized), and put emotion behind your words. Project your voice so those in the back can hear you, and make sure to move accordingly if portraying a character.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I'm doing a speech and I'm competing in a public speaking competition and I'm so nervous?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst, know that nerves are completely normal. Everyone gets nervous, even the big hot shots. What I usually do is accept my nerves and let them help me. By turning them into a competitor I think to myself, "Hello nerves, I understand you are there, and I accept you. But you won't get me this time." Next, don't forget to speak slowly and to breathe. Trust me, if you slow down your words you will have a lower chance of stumbling. Finally, if you are doing a speech, remember, this is your time to shine. Just think, "Hello world, this is who I am, and this is what I've got!"Thanks!
- If all else fails, just remember that it is not life-or-death if you mess up something or act all embarrassed. Life will go on.
- Understand that the people before you get stage fright too. They aren't here to set you up for failure. They want to be there and watch you succeed!
Video: Be a More Confident Public Speaker
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