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Fame tip: 3 ways to conquer stage fright

Who do YOU think you are?

Have you ever heard that little voice inside your brain? It’s time to shut. it. down.

Becoming famous in your field requires putting yourself out there. But when you’re faced with a camera, a crowd or microphone what are you thinking about?

Is it, “I’m fat” “I’m not good in front of crowds” “I look old” Or, “Everybody already knows this”?

Well, think it and that’s what you’re audience will see. Negative energy is palpable, even from the stage.

Relax, fame friends. Your fears come down to the fact that you’re HUMAN! Very few people arrive on this earth as a born brand promoter, able to face the crowd or vacant stare of a camera lens without breaking a sweat. NO!

But here’s how you can face your nerves and say “Hasta La Vista Baby!” even when the sweat is trickling down your back.

1. Shift your thinking

You know that old saying: you can’t drive around hell, you have to go through it. The same is true for your nerves – you can’t ignore them. You can however SHIFT your perspective.

We experience waves of anxiety or nervousness all the time. So what’s the difference between “I’m so nervous I’m going to SUCK” and “I’m so excited I’m planning a big surprise party for my best friend?”


Same nerves, different feeling!  Remember, you’ve got a secret to share with your audience. Your unique expertise! They need what you’re giving them. They want what you’re giving them. So go out there and delight them!

2. Bring A Security Blanket

Remember that ratty blanket you carried around as a kid (maybe all the way through college)?

Or that lucky t-shirt you HAVE to wear every time your favorite team plays so you don’t jinx them?

Those are tangible things we can touch that instantly give us comfort and calm us when the stakes are high. Try choosing a grown up Blankie. A small common object to carry with you whenever you’re out there in the spotlight. A quarter, rock, key, paper clip. Put it on the podium, in your pocket or in your bra. It’s a physical reminder that you RULE and everything is going to be okay!

3. Focus on the first sentence

Don’t psych yourself out by reviewing the whole speech in your head 60 seconds before you go on. You prepared in advance (tell me you did) so you know it.

Think of it as a one sentence speech. Just the first one. Obviously you have to keep going and you will because the first sentence is over!

Try practicing these simple tips in situations that are unnerving or your next networking happy hour.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment: 

Pick one situation this week and practice these tips. Tune up your self talk, find your lucky charm and focus on the first sentence. Good-bye supporting cast, hello starring role!
Want to jump start your public speaking? Start here.



  1. Sarada on July 31, 2013 at 8:56 am

    These are great tips Lori!

    You’re so right about the 1st line – I’ve often found when speaking that as long as I have that down, the rest just flows!

    I’ll try the lucky charm technique!

  2. Lori Manns on July 31, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Very useful tips Lori! I especially like #1 making the shift in thinking is critical. Turning nerves into a positive all by changing perspective is a great tip. Thanks so much.

  3. Cena Block from SaneSpaces.com on August 1, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Perspective is everything… getting clearer about when you are ‘stuck’ in the muck and then realizing that a shift is a simple thought away is so helpful!

  4. Nancy Tierney on August 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    There’s such a huge difference between the nervousness that comes from the fear of messing up or not being good enough and the nerves that come from a genuine desire to give people something of value. One is totally small self-centered and the other is about wanting to serve well. One will plow you under, mess with your head and greatly diminish your ability to deliver your message. The other can lift you up, fill you with energy and electrify your message.

    This is what I think of when you talk about perspective.

    Thank you for another post full of great tips.

  5. Lilia Lee on August 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Love this article! I laughed out loud at the pix and the descriptions of the fear. Sounds so much like me! You got me pegged.

    I always want to throw up before I speak publicly. But once I get out there, everything always seems to settle down.

    Thanks for you suggestions. They’re fabulous.

    • Lori on October 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      I’ve heard that even Henry Fonda threw up before every performance – it was just part of his process. Embrace it, don’t fight it if you know it’ll go away when you start.

  6. Cindy Key on August 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Lori – “Bring A Security Blanket” what a great tip. I often share with my clients that taking a favorite pen or other appropriate item to an interview or important meeting may help calm one down. Never thought of it as a security blanket. What a wonderful visual – just love it!
    You are right “you RULE and everything is going to be okay!”

    • Lori on October 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      That’s right, Cindy. YOU rule.

  7. Alyssa Johnson on August 4, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Lori – I love the tangible item idea. It grounds you to the here and now instead of the thoughts and fears about what “might” happen. Also, I know for me (I’ve done a lot of theatre in addition to speaking), the first sentence is key. I always feel like I’m going to be sick BEFORE I speak the first sentence. Once I get that over with, the anxiety is gone and am fine and in the flow.

    • Lori on October 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      Maybe the talisman would help assuage those early-talk nerves?

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