Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stage Fear-How I finally over came it

Stage Fear-How I finally over came it
The Fear:
It was in the First year of PUC that I came face to face with my stage fear. Though I was hyperactive and mischievous to the extent that I did not care who was watching, I had changed to a totally different person after 10th standard.

We had a very nice teacher in my PUC at Sri Vidya Mandir, whose name was Lalitha Iyer and she taught us Physics. Towards the end of the semester, she announced that there was an opportunity for anyone to take a seminar. I liked astronomy very much and I was happy that I had got the Hertzprung Russel Diagram. I read the topic thoroughly and got lot of information over the Internet and expected a real good performance.

When my turn came I quickly went up to the board. Started explaining, but suddenly realized that all of my classmates were actually looking at me. Suddenly I could hear my heartbeat (yes I too have a heart). All of a sudden evenyone in front of me was a blur. I managed to get the words out clearly though was gramatically incorrect at several places, however I had completed speaking in 5 minutes a presentation content which was supposed to last 20 minutes as per the teacher.

I stood there looking at everyone, wondering what else to say next. I looked at a sheet which I had taken to the stage but at this point, the sheet appeared to be a language I could not recognize. My feet were shaking, my face and hands were sweating. My voice had dropped and I was feeling as if someone was holding a torch at my face.

Fortunately, the teacher prompted some questions which I answered correctly from the stage. The answers I gave, helped me in expanding what I could relate to ‘Hertzpurng Russel (HR) diagrams’, and quickly summarized the topic once again.

Walking back to my seat after the talk was the hardest part. After having reached the seat, my stomach felt as if it was snowing inside. There was a kind of chill arising at every part of my body. However, my feet were still shaking and arms were sweatier than ever, quite a strange experience I can say now; but at that point, I thought I would surely die (~_^).

I now knew that I had stage fear and I had to do something to over-come it!!! I asked my friends looking for a solution, but got nothing out of it. I remember reading that only by practice could one actually get over stage fear.

Now I had to find opportunities to practice, but since I am a very shy person. Even though it took a long time; finally in the First Year of my Engineering at Amrita School of Engineering that I got my opportunity.

The Comeback:
We had an amazing teacher called Tharini ma’am for Physics, she announced that interested students could give seminar on some topics that were not going to be covered. I quickly took the ‘Liquid Drop Model’. I had very little knowledge of this model but I had heard my PUC physics teacher talk about the model once and decided that this was the moment to change.

I read the text book thoroughly. Referred internet and became confident on what I was going to say. I organized the topics in the order that I was going to talk in the presentation. Then I wrote down the topic names to check if I could associate the contents to be addressed in the topic. I had some doubts, the teacher told me to skip over the doubts, but I was determined and finally just before the seminar managed to figure out the solution to my doubt.

On the day of the seminar, I went to the stage and checked out the view from the stage. Then just before the seminar, I greeted everyone with a smile and began. It went really really well, and the teacher was really impressed the way I explained the part which she had not solved earlier. The best part was I never even realized time fly by. I then indulged everyone in the question answer session and completed the presentation with a ‘Thank You (^_^)’.

It was as if this was a landmark in my public speaking. I confidently gave the presentation on 'Tokamak Fusion Reactor' in my third year of engineering. All further presentations were like a walk over. 

Even in my MS when I gave my presentation on, 'Skype Peer to Peer Internet Telephony Protocol', I got a very good response. It was as if the initial friendship with the stage had bloomed into a beautiful relationship. 

You might get several suggestions from other people on what you can do to get rid of your stage fear. I don’t oppose any other form of getting used to the stage. It surely takes confidence, practice and a great deal of knowledge hunt to over come stage fear. But at the end of the day, remember... It does not matter if you fall, as long as you get up and keep walking.


  1. Fear is in your mind. Control your mind and your fear will dissolve.

  2. ha ha thanks for this nag: i remember you explaining 'to err is human, to forgive is devine', when you were giving me a drop. Guess i have one more quote now :P

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