Overcoming Stage Fright and Building Self-Confidence

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Tomorrow night, I’m going to be running my second night at Hertford Comedy Club. I will be the MC which means, I will be performing on stage.

An MC in a comedy club ideally will talk to the people there, get to know them a bit before the acts come on as well as establishing that it’s a comedy night and a place for laughter. The MC will also set out the audience expectations of the evening, encourage them to focus on the acts and get them relaxed so that the acts will get the most out of the performance.

Because I’ve not been an MC since my return to comedy, I’ve been a bit worried about it. Performing as an actual act rather than an MC offers a certain amount of security. You can hide your nerves about improvising behind pre-planned material and being a person who always considered my writing far surpassed my performance talent…I’m not immune to experiencing stage fright.

Fortunately for me, being a hypnotherapist specialising in overcoming stage fright and building self-confidence that enables people to perform confidently, I’m far better placed to deliver material confidently and deal with any public speaking anxiety that comes up as a result of the night then I used to be before I became a hypnotherapist.

Many of the people who come to me for help with public speaking confidence, have the misconception that all people who present well at work or even on stage or screen, experience no fear of public speaking but it’s far from true.

Whilst some people arrive easily at a place of fearlessness, when it comes to performing, many people have to dedicated time to training and doing the kind of exercising that leaves their body and mind poised for success. One actress I know, spends two hours every morning, exercising her lungs to maximise her breath control and her body and voice. Yes acting is her profession but the fact remains there are technical skills that we can all learn and apply when wanting to improve our public speaking skills.

As well as using hypnotherapy to work through old anxieties related to public speaking or presenting, I work with clients in a technical way, showing them how they can use their body language when public speaking and utilise simple exercises which will anchor them in a place of confidence. Even subtleties like the balance of our feet make a difference to our breath when talking in public and consequently how confidently we present.

As far as the comedy night tomorrow goes, it’s been a night beset with problems and I’ve had to ask myself why I’m doing something so difficult when I’m really a hypnotherapist and walked out on stand-up comedy over fifteen years ago.

And the answer – one answer came to me, that this was my journey. I’ve always struggled with my self-confidence despite my talent with writing and performing and because I’m now specialising in helping people improve their public speaking skills and overcoming stage fright then it makes sense that I put myself right back into the centre of experiencing it for myself.

And tomorrow night, after it has all settled down, I hope, I’ll be proud of the journey I’ve been on.