Whether you are in Music, Resort and Hotel Managment or University Transfer, presenting in front of your peers, instructors or wider audiences can be terrifying.
Here are some ideas that percolated in a recent first year vocalist class with second year students, Karli Harrison and Louis Butterfield, giving suggestions on what has helped them:
“Be as prepared as you can be. If you don’t know the material you will have added stress.”
“Do some breathing ahead of time so you slow yourself down and feel your body. The more you can relax, the more authentic and natural you can be.”
“Remember that the audience is usually there to support you. You might want to look for one friendly face and sing or speak to them.”
“Keep tuning into the whole environment . . . . . . if you forget the words, just fake it for a while and listen carefully to the band, calm yourself down and keep going.”
“Think of musicians or mentors you admire — imagine they are there supporting you.”
“Alcohol can back fire – – audiences don’t want to see drunk performers. It can also make you forget important stuff and you might think you were way better than you actually were.”
“Remember that your reason for being there is to express yourself to others – – – you create bonds with the class or audience when you share your self with them.”
“Sometimes you can embrace your nervousness . . . . . . . if you have too much adrenalin you can get overwhelmed, but its normal to have some jitters and an edge of nerves can give you focus and energy.“
Melody Daichun, Selkirk Music Program Vocal Instructor, also added that getting regular cardio vascular exercise and lots of sleep can really help your ability to deal with any kind of stress including performance anxiety.
Wendy Palmer’s Centering Strategy When you Need to Get Grounded:
1. Be Present – feel your feet on the floor, notice your breath, colours, sounds, skin . . ..
2. Let out a looonnngggg spiral outbreath into the earth, imagining all tension releasing down into roots that spiral deep into soil.
3. Drop your jaw and shoulders – let the weight of gravity fully relax them.
4. Imagine all the energy within and around your body flowing freely. Left/ Right Front/ Back Feet/ Head
5. Ask yourself: What would it be like if I was a little more calm and confident right now? Notice any feelings, body sensations, colours or images that come to you when you ask yourself this question . . . . .
This Ted Talk also explores how body posture affects confidence: