In This Chapter
Understanding the effects of stage fright
Channeling nerves into a powerful performance
Decreasing the chance of presentation butterflies
Dealing with stage fright when it appears
You don’t have to be performing on Broadway to experience a first-run case of stage fright. Whether you’re giving your presentation to a group of three or 300, stage fright — performance anxiety — can strike, leaving you uncomfortable and derailing your plans. Symptoms sound like a punch line to a joke about the side effects of a popular advertised medication: shortness of breath, dry mouth, racing heart, shaky voice, sweating, trembling, and even nausea. But they’re no laughing matter when your presentation is on the line.
Most actors have that nightmare of being on stage and not knowing their lines — even though they have spent weeks and months rehearsing them. Forgetting a line or two on stage isn’t uncommon, just like forgetting parts of your presentation isn’t uncommon. Even though the actual event is rarely as devastating as you imagine ...