How do you feel when you step onto a stage in front of a crowd of people?

Most of us are anxious about our readiness to speak in front of a large audience. Regardless of how well we prepare, human instinct takes over. For most of us, being the center of attention does not come naturally. Even the most professional actors suffer from scopophobia. Commonly known as stage fright. For everybody from actors to expert presenters, stage fright is common.

I still suffer terribly from stage fright. I get sick with fear. Not every night, but at the beginning and on occasion – not necessarily when I’m expecting it. You just have to cope with it – take it on the chin and work through it, trying to use the adrenalin to perform.

Helen Mirren
how to overcome scopophobia and stage fright

When you’re afraid of different people staring at you, especially strangers, you can begin to feel anxious shaky, or even totally weakened about performing or presenting in front of the crowd. But do not worry, by preparing your mind and your body to relax with practice, you can conquer your stage fright.

What is Scopophobia?

Scopophobia is known as the extreme fear of any sort of visual attention. Though there are many levels of scopophobia, at its core, it is a social anxiety disorder triggered by interpersonal interactions. While in circumstances where you are likely to be the center of attraction — like doing activities or speaking publicly — it is not uncommon to feel nervous or uncomfortable, scopophobia is quite tough. Your mind gets flooded with negative thoughts, you blush, start shaking, and feel the urgent need to get out of the room. It may feel like you are being examined or assessed. 

Scopophobia can lead you to avoid situations in society, even small meetings with people you know. If you worry about getting stared at, your social and relationship life including your career would be compromised and suffer, and you might miss a whole lot of opportunity. 

Things You Can Do to Overcome Scopophobia

Relax The Body

 To conquer stage fright, you should do a few things before you go on stage to calm your body and relax the mind. Test the lines again. Don’t panic when you make a mistake on stage, this can draw unnecessary attention. Just keep on talking and be yourself.

Practice

It is not advisable to go and start presenting without practicing several times. Practice in front of a mirror to monitor your face, body language, and to feel how often and when to move. 

Yeah, it’s essential to practice on stage or a podium. 

After you’re content, you can consider presenting to a friend, family member, or online acting classes. This would help if you had an audience for your presentation to gain reviews. It shows you are comfortable around yourself and to the public. 

Preparation

Preparation is always the answer. The more detailed and practiced you are, the more likely you are to succeed. Of course, you will always have momentary fear, but you will be given the fact that you prepared, you will overcome it and achieve your objective.

Meditation

Create time to have a short meditation before the presentation. Allow the flow of thoughts and concentrate on your breathing. This relieves fear, tension, and stress, and helps you prepare to speak in front of your audience. In almost all situations, it requires a proactive approach to overcome stage fright. Meditation helps. 

Control Your Breathing

Before opening up your mouth to speak, take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing helps you to calm your mind and relieve stress

Believe In Yourself

You are your best friend and as well as your own enemy. Believing in you and your abilities can help overcome stage fright.

The Benefits of Increased Confidence to Your Career

Confidence helps you to speak with conciseness and understanding. Professionals who communicate with confidence will convey efficiently to their clients and partners what they want. For career advancement, effective communication is crucial and this is unachievable without confidence. 

Employers search for interpersonal skills, professionalism, and enthusiasm when hiring or promoting candidates; all these are by-products of confidence. In the end, employers benefit from confident workers because they contribute more, are more competitive, goal-seekers, and make major role models. With hard work, practice,  and perseverance, scopophobia can be overcome.