Reasons That Speakers Have Stage Fright

Stage fright is real and we need to learn how to deal with it
Stage fright is real and we need to learn how to deal with it
Image Credit:
Andrew E. Larsen

When somebody has been speaking for a while and has mastered the importance of public speaking, it can be hard for them to remember what it was like when they were first starting out. The early days had a lot of challenges in them and one of the biggest was stage fright. The fear of speaking before groups of people is something that comes up every time the experts go out and do a survey of what makes people afraid. As speakers, we need to acknowledge that we do have a sense of dread when we think about speaking in public and then we need to do something about this.

Good Speakers Are Born That Way

Whenever we have a chance to hear a really good speaker, I think that we all probably have the same thought: wow, they must have been born with that skill! As we listen to them, we generally spend at least part of the time thinking to ourselves that if only we too had been born with their skills we could be a great pubic speaker.

The reality of how these people came to be up in front of you is often a lot different than you might think. Many of today’s best speakers were not born that way. In fact, a lot of them either had a speech problem such as stuttering or they had a deep set fear of talking to a group of people. What happened is that they found a way to deal with their problem. They had the willpower to overcome what was holding them back. Clearly they were successful in doing this. The good news for you is that if they can do it, then so can you.

Public Speaking Is Easy For Other People

When we watch others give a speech, one of the things that may stand out to us is just how at ease they may appear to us. Their words just seem to flow, they may even laugh at times. It sure seems like speaking comes easy to these people. If we are dealing with stage fright, then we certainly don’t feel the same way about giving speeches.

It turns out that it may appear to be easy for others to give speeches, the reality is often quite different. If you were to talk with some of the accomplished speakers who you have had an opportunity to view you would find that they don’t find it easy. Before they take the stage, they have to deal with butterflies in their stomach. What happens is that once they are on the stage, they settle into the role that they are playing and become more at ease. However, the stress never completely goes away.

Speakers With Experience Don’t Get Nervous Any More

If you have had an opportunity to give some speeches, you know what it’s like to become nervous. When you watch other speakers who you know have given many speeches, you might think that they no longer become nervous. Their style sure seems to indicate that they are very confident on stage.

What might surprise you is that even for these experienced speakers, stage fright is still an issue. They may not experience it every time, but it has a habit of coming and going. When it shows up, what they do is to take a deep breath and slow things down. They may also start to focus on one or two people in their audience in order to shut out the room full of people who are watching them.

What All Of This Means For You

Anyone who has ever given a speech can tell you that stage fright is a real thing. As speakers, we often look at other people who are giving speeches to show off the benefits of public speaking and wish that we could be more like them. They appear to be able to deliver a speech with such grace and ease that we can only imagine what it must be like to be them.

It turns out that things are generally a bit different than we might imagine them to be. We often think that the good speakers that we listen to have been born that way. It turns out that most of them have had to work very hard to become as good as they are. We may think that public speaking comes easy to others. They probably still don’t find it easy. We also like to think that the good speakers that we see probably don’t get nervous any more. The reality is that stage fright comes and goes for these speakers and they have to learn how to deal with it.

Stage fright is a real thing. We all feel it and in all honesty, for as long as we are giving speeches we will probably always have to deal with it. However, the good news is that if we can understand that others have been able to overcome their stage fright then we can find ways to deal with our own. It turns out that stage fright is just a part of life – get over it!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: If you have stage fright just before you go on, what do you think the best way to deal with it is?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Let’s face it, there are an awful lot of things that we’d all rather be doing than standing up in front of a group of people trying to give a speech. Just thinking about the importance of public speaking and doing this can cause our mouths to go dry, our hand to become clammy, and our knees to start to buckle. None of this is good news when we find ourselves called on to give a speech. However, there is some good news here. This fear of public speaking thing can be overcome and I’m going to tell you how to do it.