It happens to the best of us at times. An overwhelming sense of dread, sweaty palms, dry throat. All those people staring at you.
A little stage fright can actually be a good thing, motivating you to give the performance of your life. But, if you are too tense, your voice will struggle, and you’ll kick yourself for not doing better. So, here’s how you can beat stage fright for stronger vocals whether you are singing in front of 500,000 people or five.
Let Yourself Feel The Stage Fright
To overcome any fear, you have to face it. It is okay to feel nervous before a big performance. But it mustn’t consume you.
Count It Out
Set yourself a time limit for stage fright. Ten minutes of radiating nervous energy could be all you need to move on. Ten minutes and not a second more. Once your time is up, focus on warm-up exercises or preparing a healthy meal. Your stage fright time is finished.
Visualise Your Best Performance
Imagine what your best performance would look like. Close your eyes and visualize yourself singing in front of a crowd hanging on your every note. You’re hitting every beat with ease and strutting around the stage with perfect confidence. There’s no space for negative thoughts – fill your head with these positive images, and you’ll find yourself getting excited rather than nervous.
Build some endorphins
Exercise is an incredible stress reliever. On the day of your performance, make sure to find some time to move your body. Whether that’s running, yoga, lifting weights, or just taking a nice walk, you’ll be able to work off some of that negative energy and build endorphins that will propel you through your performance.
Just before you go on stage, take a few minutes to get that exercise high. Jump up and down, shake your body and jog on the spot. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be.
Have A Laugh
They say laughter is the best medicine and that is never truer than when it comes to stage fright. Laughing is almost the complete opposite emotion to nervousness. It can help you shake off tense feelings and anxiety so that you feel capable and relaxed. Try watching a funny programme, chatting with a friend, or looking for a comedian you love on YouTube for a quick boost of serotonin that will rid you of stage fright.
And right before you go on stage? Smile! Trick your brain into thinking you’re super happy about the fact you’re about to show off your amazing voice in front of other people. Before you know it, you soon will be!
Practice Slow Breathing
When you’re nervous, your breath speeds up, and it can be so much harder to get your words out. Count in for two and out for four, taking deep breaths. You’ll learn to drown out those negative thoughts in your head and find yourself in much better control of your whole body. Practice this often, so it comes easily when you need it the most.
Put Down That Coffee
Caffeine is not great for your voice anyway. But it also makes you jittery and anxious, exacerbating any stage fright you might be feeling. Sip on water and herbal tea instead of caffeine-laden teas, coffees, energy drinks or soda.
Ever heard the phrase “fake it until you make it”? There’s a reason why this works. Don’t go around telling people how nervous you are because that will just make it worse. Instead, tell them how excited you are and that you’re going to smash your performance. And when you’re alone, reinforce that message even more by doubling down on the positive thoughts. The more confident you act, the more you will actually start to feel confident. And slowly but surely, that stage fright will just melt away.
The more you practice the songs that you’re going to sing on stage, the less you will worry about messing up on stage. Know your songs inside out and it will all come a little easier on the day.
Perhaps the most important thing is to recognize that you’re not alone. Some of the biggest vocalists in the world admit to stage fright from time to time. And, as difficult as it is to accept, stage fright is completely in your head. Nobody on the outside can cause you to feel it. Once you take control of these anxious thoughts, you will be invincible on stage!
For more top tips on beating stage fright, you can work with a professional singing coach. They will be better positioned to recognise your triggers so they can offer more specific advice. The London Institute of Singing has coaches who have seen singers beat stage fright many times. Get in touch, and let us kick stage fright to the curb for good!
Tags: singing performance
, Vocal performance
, Performing on stage
, Stage fright
, Beating stage fright