Performers who know the most about stage fright stop trying to avoid stage fright. A popular music group spends hours on stage every night—sometimes several days a week, several weeks a month. It adds up to hundreds of hours over the course of a year, thousands of hours over the course of a few years. And still many of them get stage fright.
Kelly Zutrau, the lead singer of Wet said in an interview with Fuse that she doesn’t try to avoid stage fright anymore because she knows she can’t. “I’m really used to the feeling at this point and I just know what it is. I know just to drink water, breath, and focus.”
Learning to accept stage fright
What brought her to that realization? Hours and hours and hours on stage without getting rid of stage fright. It’s there before every performance. It will be for her and it will be for you too. But fortunately for Kelly she realized something few presenters every get their heads wrapped around: “It’s an interaction. It’s not supposed to be perfect. I think people like to see that you’re up there taking a risk and maybe you mess up. I think that’s a really good thing to realize.”
There are a couple of major takeaways from Kelly’s insights and you don’t have to sing in a popular band to put them to use. Anyone who has to present from the front of the room can benefit:
You will always face stage fright before a performance.
You can get used to the feeling.
Create your own ritual to use over and over.
Audiences don’t expect you to be perfect. They want an interaction not an adulation.
If you stood up to stage fright in the past and survived—and you did or you wouldn’t be reading this—then you’ll do it again, and again, and again.
Maybe you do mess up. Welcome to the club. We’re all human. Do you best and when you make a mistake, use it to connect with your audience.
Here’s the link to the Fuse interview with Kelly Zurau: http://www.fuse.tv/videos/2016/06/wet-interview-firefly-2016