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Language Situations - Tipps gegen das Lampenfieber

Schlagwörter: Owad, English lernen, Meetings, Lampenfieber, start with a joke, take your time

While stage fright can happen to the best of us, there are ways to overcome it.

Many of us feel nervous when we have to stand up and speak in front of a group of people – and this feel¬ing is made worse if we then have to give the speech in English. The classic signs are a dry mouth, a shaky voice and trembling hands. Is there anything you can do about this?


There certainly is. Laurence Olivier, the great Shakespearean thespian, used to say that all actors suffer from “butterflies in the stomach” before a performance. And that is in fact a good sign. The butterflies are adrenaline, which provides you energy if you can keep it under con¬trol. Olivier knew that his occasion¬al bad performances were when he wasn’t nervous. He also said that the difference between the good actors and the great actors was that the great actors made their butterflies fly information!

So how can you make your butter¬flies fly in formation when you are speaking in public in English? There are some things you can do before and during the speech to keep it under control.

Practice makes perfect

The most obvious thing to do is to prepare properly – this means having good, clear notes that you can read under stress and a clear memorable structure. Practice the speech several times out loud. Ask a good friend to listen to you and give you help and feedback. Ask a native-speaker to check the language. Learn your opening sentences by heart.Then you can concentrate on how you are speaking at the start, rather than on what to say. Relying on visual aids

If you are using visual aids, get to the room early and check. Remem¬ber Murphy’s Law – “If anything can go wrong, it will!” So prevent Mur¬phy from striking. Sometimes you can pep yourself up with some in¬ternal encouragement – “You can do it! This will be great! Have some fun!” Just before you stand up, take a few deep breaths to clear the brain.

Take your time

Pour out some water before you start. If you get stuck, you can gain some time to think by taking a sip. Don’t try to pour it out during the speech if your hands are trembling. You’ll probably end up with a very wet sleeve!

If you forget what comes next, look at your notes. Put them within easy reach. Take your time, find your place, look at the next two points, take a breath, look up and speak with energy. Don’t speak whilst looking at your notes. The two or three seconds this takes seems like forever to you, but an audience doesn’t notice it. And most audi¬ences want you to succeed. So they are more than happy for you to look at your notes occasionally

Start with a joke

If you can get an audience to re¬act positively to you at the start, it helps calm your nerves. That’s why Anglo-Saxons often start a speech with a joke to break the ice. Humour is great internationally as long as it works. The safest thing to laugh at is yourself, then you don’t point the finger at any person or group in the audience and risk offending them. Remember the Chinese saying, “If you point your finger at someone there are four fingers pointing back at you.” But only use humour if you feel comfortable with it. Otherwise look for an opening which promises the audience things you know they want to hear.

But the real key to overcoming stage fright is preparation.
Proper Preparation Prevents
Poor Performance

Schlagwörter: Owad, English lernen, Meetings, Lampenfieber, start with a joke, take your time

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