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How To Overcome Stage Fright

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How do you overcome stagefright? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Nelson Wang, Entrepreneur, Writer, 10 Years in Technology and Founder of CEO Lifestyle, on Quora.

Before I did my first play in high school, I got really nervous. I felt knots in my stomach. I wanted to throw up.
But then I stepped onto the stage. And something magical happened. I crushed it.
What was a 2 hour play felt like it went by in minutes. We ended the show with roaring applause from the audience. There were probably around 300 people at the show.
If you're curious, the play was called Brighton Beach Memoirs. I played the main lead.
Here's what helped me overcome stage fright:
1. A ton of practice
- Seriously. I would rehearse lines over and over again until I felt like I was
literally becoming
the character.
One of the my biggest fears was forgetting my lines and blanking out on stage.
Rehearsing like my life depended on it helped me overcome that fear.
2. Enjoy the moment - How many times will you have 300 people watching you as a captive audience? That's pretty freaking amazing.
Embrace the moment and soak it in.
You're here to inspire them. To make them feel. To make them smile. To make them laugh. To make them cry.
That's empowering.
3. Have great material - If I had terrible material, I'd get a ton of stage fright!
That's because you have to deliver value and entertainment to the audience. If you're starting with bad material, no matter how good you are, chances are you'll tank with the audience.
If you've got great material, you'll connect with the audience and that'll build your confidence as you're performing.
So before you get up on stage, ask yourself, is this material I'd be proud of?
4. Take improv classes - None of my performances were perfect. I'd forget a part of a line or someone else would mess up. It happens all the time. They key is how you react in those situations. Instead of expecting perfection, learn to improvise.
Take an improv class. This will teach you to think quickly on your feet.
Hope this helps you conquer stage fright! If you want more personal development tips check out my site CEO Lifestyle.

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