Dealing with Stage Fright

  • Itai Cohen
  • Melanie Dreyer-Lude


We are often asked about how to eliminate nervousness before delivering a talk. Being nervous is common, even for seasoned performers. What professional speakers have learned is that nerves are a part of the job. A lack of nervousness can create a sloppy or half-hearted presentation. That is because nervousness is a form of energy, energy that you can harness and funnel into your presentation. Nerves can be your ally. Nerves can sharpen your focus and heighten your attention. Rather than resisting your feelings of nervousness, consider reframing how you think about the butterflies you feel before you speak. Think of nerves as that extra punch that will add passion to your talk. Shift your worry about your upcoming talk to a focus on the value of having all of that extra energy. Speakers who appear to have more charisma on stage have probably learned to channel their nerves into passion for their topic (Howard & Tivnan, 2003).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Itai Cohen
    • 1
  • Melanie Dreyer-Lude
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of DramaUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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