Video: TED Talk About Stage Fright

I ran across this great (and entertaining) 8-minute TED Talk by Joe Kowan about overcoming stage fright. A lot of us anxious folk experience some (or all) kind of stage fright, whether it's in an interview, a work presentation, a one-on-one conversation with a stranger at a party, or yes, a stage performance under the bright lights of terror. Many of us have been there - butterflies quickly migrating from our stomachs to our throats, sweaty palms, massive sweaty pits (let's be honest), maybe blurry vision, pounding heart, definitely shaky hands. But most of all we experience certain terror that we will become so nervous that we screw up and possibly [insert random bodily function - throw up, faint, forget how to speak, etc.] and everyone will see us and we will (hopefully) then die from embarrassment.

Joe Kowan sure felt that way when he began performing folk music. In his TED Talk he describes his rather unique and certainly effective way of overcoming that crippling stage fright. Basically he would open every set with a song about stage fright, engaging his audience and letting them know how truly terrified he was to be performing for them. As funny as Joe is, it really is a great technique when dealing with any kind of stage fright. Involving the audience, letting them in, releases us from trying to hide our terror, which of course only heightens our sense of impending doom. Sharing our nervousness, our anxiety, takes away its power. This is true of all kinds of stage fright situations, and, honestly, anxiety in general. Enjoy Joe's short stage fright-filled performance and think about letting the audience into your experience next time you find yourself on a stage/interview/date.