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Chapter 2. Stage Fright > Physical and Mental Exercises for Releasing Stress - Pg. 14

Stage Fright It's perfectly natural to put off doing something you find unpleasant. As a result, many speakers delay practicing. Don't fall into this trap. 14 Physical and Mental Exercises for Releasing Stress Some speakers physically shake when they're under stress. If you're a trembler, take heart: it doesn't show half as much as you think. Try these tips anyway to help you deal with the shake-and-bake syndrome: · Instead of holding a hand microphone, leave the mike on its stand. · Draw attention away from your hands. For example, avoid holding a glass of water so that the audience won't be distracted by the tidal waves in the glass. · Leave your notes on the lectern so that people can't see them shake in your hand. · If your legs are trembling, shift your weight between them. Lean forward and grasp the lectern with both hands. If you're sitting down, keep your hands gripped on your knees. This does dou- ble-duty: It stops both your hands and your legs from trembling. Stage fright may not be something to look forward to, but you should recognize that it's normal. The next sections address some other techniques for mastering performance anxiety. The "No Pain, No Gain" Route Below are some suggestions you can use to help you deal with stage fright. They're all easy and even pleasant, to help you relieve tension and enjoy yourself.