How Can You Become a Confident Performer?
You love to sing, play your instrument, dance or prepare and give a speech…if only you didn’t have to present it in front of a live audience. Even though you feel prepared, you can’t sleep the night before, your stomach is in knots, and you’re hoping for a bout of the flu.
What’s wrong with this picture? If you love doing what you do, why don’t you love doing it for others? It sounds like you may have a lack of confidence, or as it’s sometimes called performance anxiety…
“Confidence = Security = Positive Emotion = A Better Performance” – Tony Schwartz
At one time or another, everyone has a touch of insecurity about what we do…it’s human nature to have a little bit of self doubt, in fact, it’s a good thing, it helps keep us humble and not over-confident. But when it literally makes you feel ill, it’s too much.
Remember stage nerves are your best friend. They are present to insure you do your best work!
There are some things you can do to start building your confidence, but keep in mind change won’t happen overnight, these are things you need to practice, and soon your confidence will begin to grow.
Techniques to Build Your Performance Confidence
- Prepare well so you are comfortable with your presentation.
- Begin by reminding yourself that everyone gets nervous before a performance…“Being nervous is not something you should be ashamed of, it means you want to do your best, and you really care.” – Paula Creamer
- Stop thinking about yourself and how well or poorly you will peform…think about your audience and what you can offer them. Look at your audience and connect with them so you can offer them the best of what you have to give.
- For several minutes before your performance, if possible, find yourself a quiet place and practice deep breathing.
- Remember, if you don’t tell them, your audience has no idea that you’re nervous…show them through your smile and your body language that you are confident and happy to be there.
- Whether it’s a speech or a musical number, find meaning in what you are saying or singing…believe and feel what you are presenting.
Take time for an honest reflection after each of your performances.
- Was your performance meaningful to you?
- How did you feel during your performance? Had your nerves settled down?
- Was the performance as heartfelt as it should have been?
- How did you feel after your performance…were you simply glad it was over and you survived, or did you feel you had given your best.
Decide if you need to change your “self-talk”.
Self-talk is very powerful, the things we say to ourselves and how we say them can have a huge impact on your performance.
Rather than think this – “I am afraid” , think this – “I am prepared and will perform well.”
Rather than think this – “I can never do this“, think this – “I can do this and anything I put my mind to.”
Rather than think this – “I don’t deserve to perform well“, think this – “I am prepared and I deserve a successful performance.”
Look for the negative things you think to yourself, and you will find them. Make a real effort to change them to positive, you’ll find that too.
If you are constantly doing negative self talk, changing the way you think about and talk to yourself may take some time to master, but when you do you will develop more confidence that will translate into a better performance. Your audience will sense your confidence and believe in what you’re doing and they will receive your performance better.
Looking for a voice coach?
I am Carol Stanley and I am a Voice and Presentation Skills Coach. I train speakers and singers (business owners, ministry leaders, stage performers, beauty pageant competitors, workshop leaders) to gain confidence, poise, and command over their total voice, body, mind, and spirit.
Contact me, I offer Private or Group Coaching, and I would love to speak with you.