Stage fights are real. There is a dark joke that says some people would rather be in a coffin than give a word at a funeral. While it may seem too much, in fact, a lot of people would agree with it. Not everyone has confidence to speak, let alone speaking in front of an audience. These people do not like the idea of speaking in public and would do their best to avoid it.
Once again, stage fright is real and it is actually normal. Unfortunately, not everyone understands it, which is sad because understanding stage fight and the different types of stage fight is important to overcoming it.
What are the different types of stage fright? Before finding out the different types of stage fight, it is better for you to know what stage fight is first. So, what is stage fright?
Stage fight is the kind of feeling that occurs when about to speak up or perform in a group or in front of people. The feeling here is definitely in a bad way. Aside from the term stage fight, stage fight is also known by some other words, such as:
- Public speaking fear
- Performance jitters
- Stage fear
Now that you already know the meaning of stage fight, it is time for you to know the types of stage fight. What are the types of stage fright?
Contrary to popular beliefs, there is more than one type of stage fight. What are those? The types of stage fight are as follows:
- Type 1: Anticipation
The first type of stage fight is anticipation. It is a common type of stage fight amongst the other types of the stage fight. In fact, a lot of people suffer from this. This one is described as the expectation of negative and unrealistic images of the performance. Basically, people experience this when they are about to have a performance, job interview, exam, or so on. When they are about to do one of them, they usually experience the symptoms of stage fright. They usually think they cannot do their job and things would go wrong.
Luckily, there are many ways to deal with anticipation. One of them is by burying the thoughts every time it comes to mind. Another way is to speak positively whenever it comes up.
- Type 2: Avoidance
Avoidance is one of the most common types of stage frights. While it is true that avoidance can make some people calm, sometimes, it reinforces the fear in the long run. This type of stage fright is where people always prefer to run away or escape every time they have to perform or speak in front of an audience. These people would rather miss out on an exam, scholarship, a job, or a good friendship than speaking or performing in front of the public. Some of them run away for a couple of hours, minutes, or days.
In order to get rid of avoidance, try to accept the condition. Not only that, try to reject the feeling of thinking of showing up or proving to others.
- Type 3: Anxiety
Just like the other two types of stage fright above, anxiety is also common. It is known to be a high level of anxiety that is usually experienced before presenting something. It is the result of a tendency to speak in front of people. Anxiety usually occurs as people with it are afraid of the thing that is about to come. For example, they suffer this type of stage fight on the interview day, on the first day of their school, or on the day when they have to perform in front of an audience. This kind of stage fight is known as the speech anxiety and it is related to the feeling of nervousness. When someone suffers from this stage fright, they will have a shaky voice, have a hard time to breathe, have sweaty palms, have dry throat, cannot think and so on. Talking about the symptoms, they can actually vary, depending on these individuals, and they are not easy to predict.
If you often suffer from this type of stage fright, do not feel bad. In fact, the majority of professional speakers today experienced speech anxiety at some time. The level of anxiety of those who suffer from this usually varies. Some of them are extremely afraid while some others just feel a little bit anxious. If these successful speakers can overcome this type of stage fight, you should also believe in yourself that you can overcome it.
- Type 4: Panic
Panic is also a type of stage fright. This one is described as a deep feeling of fear. It is really strong as it can block all rational thought and actions. This kind of stage fight is usually linked to panic attack, the one that is known to be an intense wave of fear. You can tell that one is panicking when their heart is pounding, have a panic attack, feel like they cannot breathe, and or feel like they are about to die. The scary thing is that panic attacks come out of the blue without any warning. Even if one looks fine, they can get a panic attack in the next second. Sometimes, it is caused by a rising feeling of panic. When you panic, it can be worse if it turns into a panic attack.
While it is true that panic can occur a moment before speaking or performing in front of the public, it can also start hours, days, weeks, or even months before. Aside from that, you can also get it during the event. Before panicking, please work on your fear. It is better to prevent it from happening than to overcome it.
The first step to overcoming stage fright is to find out the type of stage fright that you have. To be able to successfully overcome this one, make sure to work hard and keep practicing. Even though you do not like the idea of speaking in public, just try it. Show your confidence and try to be comfortable when showing up in front of people.