7 ways to overcome Stage Fear
Posted by Pratibha Sarathy on 13 Jan 2017
Stage fear is something every singer has experienced at various stages of their musical journey. Fortunately, this is something that can be overcome in a very practical manner. Here are a few practical tips that could help you make stage fear a thing of the past!
1. Know that it's completely normal: Every individual has experienced stage fear at some point of time. It is a natural body reaction and there's nothing abnormal about it. So firstly, you must stop believing that 'something is wrong with you'. People who seem confident on stage appear so because they have figured out a way to avoid or tackle stage fear. It does not mean that they are a different species who never get anxious!
2. Be well prepared: Believe it or not, even professional singers experience stage fright when they are under-prepared. It's often the anticipation of failure that makes us nervous rather than actual failure. So ensure that you are thoroughly prepared with your song so that you feel more confident.
3. Hydrate your throat: It often happens that we wait for a while before getting on stage, so there is a good chance that our voice is not in its best shape when we start singing. Ensure that you are hydrated with water atleast 5-10 minutes before your performance so that there are no obstructions or dryness in the throat.
4. Stay completely focused during the first few lines: The way you sing the first few lines determines your confidence for the rest of the song. If your first lines are shaky, there are high chances that you would get nervous for the rest of the song. So make sure that you are extra attentive about your voice, notes and lyrics during the initial lines. At this point, you may even close your eyes for a few seconds to concentrate better. Once the start is good, it will give you the required confidence to relax during the rest of the song.
5. Do breathing exercises: Take a few deep breaths until your inhalation and exhalation become steady. If you experience uneven bursts while exhaling, it means your body is not relaxed and you are nervous. So keep breathing till your exhalation is stable. Some omkar exercises would also help stabilize the voice.
6. Speak a few words or hum before you begin: It's a good practice to first introduce yourself to the audience. Not only does it break the ice but also starts to warm up your voice. In case there is no opportunity to speak, then just try humming the tune once just before getting in front of the mic. That helps warming up your voice so that there are no unpleasant surprises like voice cracks or breaks which can aggravate stage fear.
7. Get more experience: We often get nervous just because the whole set up or audience seems unfamiliar. Practising alone within the 4 walls of your room is very different from singing to an audience. So try and find regular opportunities to sing to different new audiences, even if small in size, so that you learn to stay calm when you are thrown out of your comfort zone. Experience is certainly a big factor that builds confidence and eliminates stage fear.