How to Be Brave Enough to Perform

Whether you aspire to becoming an actor, musician, comedian or a performer of some other kind, finding the courage to get up in front of people and showcase your ability is a huge obstacle, and one that many people will really struggle with. For some hobbies and careers, performance is absolutely vital, so you'll need to dig deep and find that all important bravery.

A dictionary definition of the term performance is "The act or style of performing a work or role before an audience." which is astonishingly broad and can mean a wide range of things from giving speeches to playing a guitar solo or singing a song. The one common factor in every kind of performance is a live audience being present, and this is what most people struggle with.

Here are some tips to conquering your fear and putting yourself in front of an audience:

  • Imagine them in their underwear. It is an almost laughable technique, and one you've probably heard before. If you are able to do this easily then it switches the whole social situation so that it is your audience who are the ones who will come off embarrassed, and there is something less imposing about playing to a room of people in their smalls.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice. It sounds too simple, but the truth is you just need to become so good at your performance that it is harder to get it wrong than it is to get it right. A guitarist should know a song like the back of his hand before he goes in front of an audience in order to eliminate the fear of getting it wrong.
  • Take deep breaths and have a calming drink beforehand. In terms of conquering stage fright, taking deep breaths and keeping your head is really important, and having a soothing drink can really help with your nerves. This doesn't have to be alcoholic as chamomile tea has been shown to have soothing side effects, plus you don't want to go out and perform anything semi-sober.
  • Understand that you can't please everyone. This is where a lot of people go wrong. Whatever you perform, however good it is, not everybody is going to like it. Accepting that will mean you don't get disheartened and aren't scared that people won't enjoy it.
  • Get used to an audience. This is vital. You'll probably always be nervous to an extent with people watching you, and that is only healthy, but by taking opportunities to go busking, practice in front of friends and be in the public eye you will eventually become used to playing live.

Whatever you do, remember that performing live is a positive thing to do, otherwise you wouldn't even be considering it. Everybody makes the odd mistake, but that shouldn't scare you into submission, and conquering your fear makes the whole experience ten times more rewarding.