Managing performance stress
- 6 Months ago
We have all experienced the common ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling right before an important work presentation or conference; that elevated heart rate, mild thumping, sweaty palms, and anxious feeling. Unfortunately, some of us may have also experienced the events that follow when we let these feelings take the better of us. What happens when things go wrong mid-way? Well, nothing is permanent, so there is always a way to get over it. What’s even better is that such experiences can teach us to be careful in the future.
This article deals with the latter. Here’s how you can prevent future mishaps:
Make a Performance Plan
For a large event, it usually helps to chart out a Performance Plan. This foresees any problems likely to be encountered during the event, keep you well prepared to deal with them, with a positive mind frame. To do this, start by listing all the steps you need to do from start to end.
- Run a check on the equipment (projectors, speakers, microphones, and more) before the event begins, and repair or replace those that do not work.
- Sort out your travel arrangements and itinerary at least a few days prior to the event.
- Pack in advance, again at least a few days before flying. Make a list of all the items you packed and also jot down the ones that need to be thrown in before leaving.
- Always travel to the site of your performance a few days before your event. Familiarize yourself with the place, and possibly the acoustics.
- Get your equipment set up at least a few hours before your event.
- Know that it takes a lot of courage for one to be where you are right now. Mistakes are a part of life. So instead of being upset, treat any mess-ups as a learning experience.
Think & Work It Through
- Equipment and machines can always go wrong even after they are thoroughly checked. Learn to overcome these effectively. Humour is an effective way to deal with such issues when you are on-stage.
- Just because you have listed all the possible scenarios, does not mean they will happen. In any case, be prepared and don’t let any temporary mishaps make you lose confidence.
Consider these as Well:
- You can eliminate problems by preparing in advance and having back-up arrangements at your disposal.
- If the event requires you to travel, leave early so that you don’t face any travel delay.
Plan ahead & reduce the stress. All the best.