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Coping With Performance Stress

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 101

As a magician, public speaker or performer, some may suffer the feeling of sickness in our stomach before an important presentation or performance. We also know how excessive pressure can undermine our ability to perform and be professional in these situations.

For your next event, it is worth preparing a Performance Plan. This is a pre-prepared plan that helps you to deal effectively with any problems or distractions that can occur, and perform in a more relaxed, positive and focused frame of mind. A performance plan will help you to prepare for your next important performance. It will help you prepare for practical contingencies with mental preparation to ensure that you are fully prepared to handle any situation that may realistically occur.

Allow enough in advance to sort out any practical problems. List all of the physical and mental steps that you need to take to:

  • Prepare and check your equipment, and repair or replace it where it does not work;
  • Make travel arrangements;
  • Pack your equipment and luggage;
  • Travel to the site of your performance;
  • Set up equipment;
  • Wait and prepare for your performance; and
  • Deliver your performance.

Preparing a plan such as this will provide peace of mind and enable you to more concentrate on the delivery of your performance as a magician, singer or public speaker. It helps to ensure that you deliver your performance in a relaxed, positive and focused frame of mind, whatever problems or upsets may have occurred.

Next, work through each of these steps:

  • Everything that could reasonably go wrong at each step with equipment and arrangements (arrive early to account for problems)
  • Any distractions and negative thinking that could undermine your confidence or stop you having a positive, focused frame of mind at the start of and during your performance.

If you make an error during your performance DON'T PANIC!!!! Try to stay calm, panicking will only make more nervous. Laugh off the mistake and the audience will laugh with you, or just forget about the mistake and quickly move on. The more attention you give to the mistake psychologically, the larger it will become in your mind.

When making a mistake use the following:

  • Accept the mistake: Do not criticize yourself for it. The mistake is now in the past, and there is nothing you can do about it.
  • Focus on the present: Worrying about the past will not help.
  • Relax: Breathe deeply and use appropriate relaxation techniques to calm down.
  • Focus on normal good performance: If you try to compensate for the mistake by giving a faultless performance, you will over-stress yourself, and this will break your flow and natural performance rhythm.

Build this into your Performance Plan as a magician, singer or public speaker and use it when you need to within your performance.

Summary:

Performance Plans help you to prepare for an important performance both physically and psychologically. Without pre-planning in this way how you can be ready to handle any situations or problems that may realistically occur.

As a magician, public speaker or entertainer confidence will grow and stress will shrink with performing experience over time. Your journey as a performer will include mistakes, stress in the form of nerves and other symptoms but don't dwell on what is in the past. Learn from your mistakes and move on! Pre-planning with check lists will help you deliver your performance in a relaxed, positive and focused frame of mind, whatever problems or upsets may have occurred.

Source: EzineArticles
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