Stage fright is a fear or phobia when having to perform/speak before an audience. It can manifest itself in many physical and emotional ways often leaving the performer in a state of panic. So how can we deal with the symptoms of stage fright?


Preparation is key to building confidence. Familiarise yourself with the material and surroundings like props and stage lighting. What is your goal? How do you intend to achieve it? If your character is in a play, what is he saying? What does he want to portray? If you are giving a key speech what are the important issues that you need to get across?

Practising with an audience is a fantastic way of gaining confidence and allowing yourself to familiarise yourself with your material. Ask family and friends to listen to your material. Ask for constructive feedback. Listen and understand.

When you truly know the purpose of your role then you will have confidence with it. Rehearse until you are sure you can deliver with confidence. Once you have achieved this, what is there to be nervous about?

Understand your Audience

There is nothing worse as a spectator than to feel uncomfortable whilst watching a performer. If you show that you are nervous and uncomfortable then your audience will be too. Understand that they are not there to see you fail. They want to listen to what you have to say. They are willing you to perform well and succeed. Your audience is not there to snigger and sabotage. Treat them to the best performance of your life. You know you can do it!


Breathing techniques can help many people achieve different objectives. In reality it is about calming oneself or gaining control of your actions. Learn some deep breathing exercises which can help you achieve some control over the sense of fear that is gripping your heart. Long slow breaths. In and then out. Clear your mind of everything and put your hand on your heart. Concentrate on your heart beat and your breathing. Can you feel yourself relax? Keep breathing. Your heart rate will regularise and you will be ready to tackle your role head on.


Many people use exercise as a form of relaxation. Yoga for example has been used as a technique for many performers. Some may prefer doing something silly like star jumps or running around in a circle. These are distraction techniques often used to deal with the effects of the pulsating heart due to nervousness. Try some different techniques and see what works best for you.

Believe in Yourself

So you’ve done your preparation, you know your lines. You know what you want to get across and how you intend to do this. You understand that your audience is there to see you succeed. You’ve dealt with your breathing and have used some exercise to steady that thudding heart beat. What is left? YOU. Henry Ford once said ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right’. If you don’t believe in yourself then how is anyone else going to? You’re prepared for your moment. You have confidence that you can deliver successfully. Believe that you can and you are ready. Good luck!

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