Overcoming Stagefright and Performance Anxiety!

Everyone has stagefright or performance anxiety.

It is a perfectly normal feeling to have whenever singing onstage or in front of a listening audience!

This feeling of nervousness gets more intense when we are performing in front of judges, which is the case during singing contests and competitions, or even singing auditions!

Perhaps you have experienced this in the form of ‘freezing’ on stage, not being able to sing at all?

Maybe you have had mental blackouts on stage and were unable to remember your song lyrics?

Or perhaps you have felt a slight ‘squeezing’ sensation in your stomach, or maybe your hands were trembling when holding the microphone?

(I’m sure this all sounds familiar to most of us out there… ;-p)

Well, here are FIVE of the most effective tips for overcoming your stagefright:

Tip # 1: Practice, Practice, Practice!

Sometimes, our performance anxiety comes about because we have not practiced our song enough, and we are still not 100% sure of our lyrics or the song we chose to sing.

When we step on stage without having made all the preparations possible, we are more prone to feeling anxious and that makes us more nervous and certainly unable to perform to the best of our ability!

Being well-practiced before our audition or competition day will help us to reduce this feeling of nervousness and make us more confident onstage!

It will also reduce the possibility of making mistakes because we are so familiar with the lyrics and the song that we are singing.

You can try out these great vocal warmups to do before singing onstage, to give yourself the competitive edge and also make yourself more confident to sing!

Tip # 2 : Practice with a Listening Audience

It helps to practice with a listening audience present, either your friends, family, or even complete strangers!

You can start off with your best friend as your audience, and slowly increase the number of people whom you sing to.

You may even wish to start off by singing in karaoke rooms, and maybe move to the karaoke halls to sing to a larger audience!

This allows you to build up confidence in your singing ability, and also makes performing in front of people a regular habit, so that it becomes less daunting for you as a performer!

When you finally go onstage to perform, you will be more prepared and less affected by nerves as compared to the other contestants!

Tip # 3: Make Fun of Your Audience In Your Mind

One effective and well-known tip for reducing stagefright is to imagine your audience in funny ways, so as to make it less daunting to perform in front of them!

You could imagine their heads to be watermelons, and think of how silly it would be to have an audience of watermelons watching you sing!

Or, you could imagine all of them to be totally NAKED!

That would make them more nervous than you, and it would certainly take away the jitters from you immediately… (although you would have to stop staring at them… ;-p)

Another useful tip would be for you to look through your audience by fixing your visual focal point at a point far behind them.

The audience will still think you are looking at them, but because you are not looking at their faces or their eyes, it makes it less scary for you onstage as a performer!

Tip # 4: Deep Breaths…

Whenever we feel the onset of stagefright or performance anxiety, it would do good for us to practice deep breathing to calm our nerves and stay relaxed and focussed.

You can practice these breathing exercises to learn how to to control your breath when you are nervous! These exercises also help to strengthen your breath support so that you can sing better!

You can also learn about how to breathe properly for singing by using your diaphragm and this will allow you to take in deeper breaths to relax yourself!

Another way for you to relax is to tense up all the muscles in your body and clench your fists hard, and then relax all your muscles and let all the tension leave your body.

This allows you to feel more relaxed and let the stress or nervousness leave your body before you go onstage to perform!

Tip # 5: Your Audience and Judges are Your Friends!

We are most relaxed when in front of our friends and family, so apply this theory to the judges and the audience we meet during auditions or competitions.

Treat your audience and your judges as your friends, and interact with them in that way!

You will find that this takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders, and makes it easier for you to leave an impression on them too.

An important point here is for you to adopt a ‘Sharing Attitude’. You are performing because you want to share your singing and your song with the audience and the judges.

Once you are able to keep this sharing attitude in mind, you will find that the anxiety and the stress leaves you, and you will feel more relaxed and able to do your best onstage!

Bear these FIVE important tips in mind for overcoming stagefright and performance anxiety, and you will certainly do better during your next singing audition or competition!

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