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Source: iStock
Source: iStock

Blog post -

Stage fright: why telling presenters to "just relax" just doesn't work

It's common for presenters to suffer stage fright, but the reasons they do so are wide and varied - and require similarly attuned solutions. Sure, some people just aren't good with getting up to present in television or in front of crowds.

But that's not the only reason some people shun the limelight. Other reasons include:

  1. They fear being put on the spot with difficult questions
  2. They fear being asked personal questions or about private information
  3. They have a little voice in their head which criticises their every word
  4. They need time to think and find it difficult to respond on the spot
  5. They fear their presentation won't be 110% perfect, so they prefer not to present at all
  6. They fear being forced to respond to Q&A straight away

I conducted a straw poll with a post on LinkedIn recently, which confirmed this (LinkedIn only allows four answer choices, hence the limited replies).

It might not have been a very large sample size, but at the very least this confirms different people have different reasons for fearing presenting on stage.

The good news is, all of these can be managed in their own way.

However, one thing I never say to a presenter is "just relax and smile". If they felt like smiling, they would already be doing it. If they were relaxed, they would already be.

Leave me a comment: which of the six reasons above are the cause of your stage fright? Or perhaps you have another reason altogether?



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Mark Laudi

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