Tips for "Going On Stage Relieved of This Dread"

Here is an email I received recently from a contact:

"Dear Gilda, HELP!!! I'm in a play this evening in my play-reading group (we act out in costumes while reading the scripts) and I realize I'm beginning to get nervous (30 in the audience). I get choked up or have to swallow. This is my bĂȘte noire. Any quick tips for going “on stage" relieved of this dread? Tonight? Thank you!!"

Here is part of my response:

"For tonight, I would recommend breathing deeply whenever you feel nervous…. And thinking positive thoughts (use your mantra) and reminding yourself why you are there (to have fun?). When you feel anxiety bubbling up, take a deep breath and either "swallow" down the fear or let it just wash over you without engaging it. Let it be, watch it go by, but don't "get in the mud" with it. And know that the more you speak in public, the easier it will get."

These quick tips can be helpful in dealing with your fear of public speaking, whether you are going on stage to perform a play reading, giving a toast at a wedding or presenting at a staff meeting.

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