How to Beat Stage Fright
In this charming TED talk, musician Joe Kowan talks and sings about how he beat stage fright by composing a song about it and opening his concerts with it.
He explains that by opening up to the audience about his stage fright, he is able to move past it.
What can speakers learn from this? Certainly, you don’t want to begin every presentation with a caveat about how nervous you are.
I wonder if part of the reason why the song works for Joe is that it establishes an immediate connection between himself and his audience. The song helps him move from performer (which is scary) to connector (which is less scary).
Speakers can do this by beginning in a way that establishes a connection to the audience. Eye contact is critical. By focusing on one person at a time, you can simulate what happens in a one-on-one conversation where the best kind of connections happen.
From the Green Room: Focused eye contact can turn help turn your presentation from a performance – to a connection.