Fear: recent publications

This Hollywood Coach Has 3 Foolproof Tips for Conquering Nerves

One important element of true professionalism is conquering the fear of making a mistake. In certain situations, like public speaking, that fear can freeze you like a deer in headlights. Wherever you are — live, online in a virtual conference, or in front of fellow team members –chances are you’re going to have to address an audience.

I coach actors — for whom fear can literally tank your career. After observing how certain strategies can effectively help them overcome their fears, I realized these strategies can work for anyone.Here are three key tips to help you conquer the fear of being in front of an audience, whoever they may be. Learn them, practice them, and use them whenever you’re called upon to speak in public: This works every time, though it seems counterintuitive.

Like many of the best strategies in reverse psychology, it undoes the power of the very situation you fear most. The phrase came from the great actor Martin Landau, who would coach his fellow actors by saying, “Try to be bad.” What he meant was, when you fear making a mistake, or being wrong, you block the free and natural instincts you need to perform. This isn’t just about acting — it’s about being yourself.

Grant yourself the freedom to mess up, and the big surprise is that you’re far less likely to do so.One way to test this out: practice your speech in advance. Get a trusted group of friends to play the audience and keep it loose. Ask for their reactions as you’re talking — did you sound genuine? Are you interesting? Is your voice too monotone? Let yourself do everything wrong.

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