Performance anxiety doesn’t choose what you do, it’s always there and it can literally affect someone’s job. It’s also prevalent in singers, and it’s commonly known as stage fright to them. It is explained as a feeling of fright of committing mistakes while singing and losing confidence afterwards, resulting to a ruined performance.
Big names like Adele, John Lennon and other professional personalities in music have admitted that they suffered severe performance anxiety. When this happens to a singer, the show must always go on.
However alarming this anxiety can be, there are tips and techniques you can employ to fight off stage fright when you are singing.
Tip #1: Remain Calm
One of the first things you can do to keep your cool on stage is to remain calm. Before you go to the stage and perform, do some breathing exercises to help you relax. One of the simple breathing techniques you can do is this; breathe in for four counts and breathe out for four counts. Do this all through your nose. Each time you do this technique, try to control your breathing and relax.
This practice that focuses on your breath relaxes you and will help you take your mind off going on the stage and perform. You can also do a meditation technique like visualization where you think about happy thoughts and happy memories. This will calm you down and the erase negative feelings.
Tip #2: Be Positive
Don’t get too caught up with thinking that you’d fail. To fight off stage fright, be positive with yourself. Tell yourself that you’ve practice enough and that you can do this performance. Always tell yourself that you’ll do a great job and the audience will appreciate your performance.
One of the things that can bring an anxiety to singers is the comments of the audience. They always think that the audience won’t love the performance, or she looked awful or the piece might not relate to the audience.
If you’ll go to the stage and perform, always think that you did a great job on finding a piece to sing and believe in it. You’d be able to connect with the audience and affect them in any way if you will deliver it soulfully. You won’t be able to do that if you’re too frightened.
However, things happen in a performance that you haven’t prepared for. Don’t let it ruin your confidence. Remember that mistakes happen and you can do much better next time you perform. The audience is more forgiving than you think, besides it’s not the mistake they’re going to remember forever.
The whole point is, be positive that your performance would be a good one and the people will appreciate it. If you project self-confidence, the audience will believe it and you’ll believe in yourself too.
Tip #3: Prepare for the Performance
Stage fright happens when someone doesn’t know what she’s doing, or if she’s doing it right. A well-practiced and well-prepared singer will have less anxiety on the stage. Knowing the song and able to sing it by heart will boost your confidence before the performance. It will make you think that you’re doing your best, which is true.
Being prepared for everything that you do will lead you to a great performance and less anxiety.
Tip #4: Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine usually buzzes up a person and energized her, but caffeine will only increase the rate of the heart leading to a more agitated and anxious feeling. Drinking caffeinated drinks is a big no-no when you’re about to perform because it might worsen the fright you have.
Also, avoid foods like salty foods, sugar, and fast foods.
Tip #5: Stand with Confidence
The way you hold yourself will change your thought process. If you have poor posture and slump when you’re on the stage, correct it while it’s still early. It will affect your vocals and your confidence.
Stand up straight, help your head up high and smile. Your audience will see that you’re confident of yourself and they will believe in your performance. Having a confident posture will improve the quality of your performance because you’d more soulful and connected with people.
Tip #6: Find a Familiar Face
When you’re on the stage and the spotlight is on you, immediately find a familiar and friendly face in the crowd to ease the fright you’re feeling. When you’re on a concert, musical or a performance at school; always invite someone you know like family and friends.
While singing, think that they’re the only person you’re performing to. However, don’t hold the stare for a long time because it will be awkward. Look around the audience, but if you get nervous, look back the faces that give you calm.
Tip #7: Have a Proper Singing Technique
Having a music coach or online training program will teach you how to sing under anxiety or stress. Singing techniques will keep your voice clear, clean and open when you are nervous. When you’re constantly taking up these courses, you can easily manage your performance.
When you take up regular lessons, breathing techniques and training, you will learn how to have the confidence to go on stage and sing like a professional no matter how nervous you might get.
Tip #8: Do Some Stretches
Relax your body; this is one of the first things you can do to get yourself into a relaxed frame of mind. Doing some stretches will help you to concentrate on the things you can control, and not concentrate on the things you can’t. Relaxing your body through stretches and yoga, you will start to notice yourself.
Tip #9: Sing with a Group in the Beginning
Performing alone in the stage will surely frighten you, so you can start singing with others first. You can join a group or a choir so your singing abilities will be enriched and developed. Get a partner that you constantly perform with it.
Having a partner on stage will give you confidence until you’re ready to perform alone.
Tip #10: Perform More Often
How to ultimately fight off stage fright? Head on and face it! Perform more often during family gatherings and small celebrations. Perform as many times as you can because this way you will get used to being on stage and face many people. You will get to handle anxiety well if you always deal with it.
You can do all these things of you don’t get action, so you better do something while you still can and anxiety can still be fought off. Again, you just need the right training and people to help you out. Some online singing programs like Singorama include lessons on overcoming stage fright. You can check out their website here.