Treatment for Stage Fright
Stage fright doesn’t have to paralyze you. At some point, everyone feels this fear, from professional actors to businessmen at a meeting. Stage fright ranges in severity from a common performance anxiety to a social phobia that needs medical intervention.
Board-certified psychiatrists, like Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin at the Mayo Clinic, delineate the differences in treatment for the various types of stage fright from coping techniques to medication.
STEP 1 :: Relax
Slow, deep breaths and a conscious decision to relax can help simple cases of nervousness.
STEP 2 :: Focus
Keep your focus on your performance, not on your feelings or the audience.
STEP 3 :: Be Prepared
Know exactly what you need to say and practice it, preferably before a mirror.
STEP 4 :: Support Groups
To overcome a more serious case of stage fright, find a support group to train you in public speaking. Toastmasters, a well-known organization, teaches people the skills needed to speak before an audience, which can help instill a higher degree of confidence.
STEP 5 :: Medication
If the fear cannot be overcome with coping techniques or additional training, a doctor may prescribe beta blockers. Although this medication is often used to treat high blood pressure, it has been shown to have a calming influence.
STEP 6 :: Counseling
Sometimes this phobia disrupts a person’s life to a severe extent. In this case, medication combined with counseling may offer help.