Singing: Overcome Performance Anxiety by Forming a Game Plan

For every singing performance, make a plan of action for success. Assuming that you’re going to succeed means that you will. Assuming that you’re going to fail is the same as giving in to those voices in your head. Reframe those stupid things people have said to you in the past about your performing abilities. Being critical is human nature, but remember that it’s only one person’s opinion.

Try these tips to get your game plan in place:

  • Make a specific timeline to get yourself ready to sing at the time of your performance. After you develop your practice routine, you’ll know how long it takes for your voice to be ready to sing at your best. You can plan your warm-up time for the day of your performance to get ready. Consider these suggestions:

    • Take time to vocalize or warm up the notes you’ll sing in the performance.

    • Vocalize long enough for your voice to be singing at your peak when you walk on the stage.

    • On the performance day, sing through your song enough times that you feel confident, but not so many times that your voice feels tired.

  • Invite someone who helps boost your confidence. Do you know someone who can encourage you as you walk out for the performance? Discuss your fears with this friend or confidant and then discuss your feelings after the performance. You may find that your perception of that awful note isn’t what your friend heard. Having a support system with you helps you quiet negative thoughts that may creep into your head.

  • Look at each performance as an opportunity to succeed. You have to expect success before you can achieve it. Success doesn’t just happen, but you can make it happen.

  • Practice what you intend to do. If you plan to take a moment and take a breath before you begin to sing your song, practice it that way. Taking that moment to quiet your mind and settle your racing heart is worth it. By practicing and visualizing your success, you can more easily make it happen.

    You can also practice walking across the stage, singing your song, and then bowing. You may have to practice this in your living room, but you want to practice what you’re going to experience in the performance.

  • Chart your improvement. Make a list of what you want to accomplish, and, with each performance, shoot to accomplish one more task on the list.

    For example, the first task may be remembering all the words. By practicing with distractions at home, you boost your ability to concentrate. When you remember all the words at your first performance, you may want to try remembering the words and breathing consistently at the second performance.

    Just getting the breath in your body and then using it helps with many other technical problems. Give yourself a gold star when you achieve each goal.

Before singing your song in public, try it in front of some friends. If you give smaller performances a few times before your big one, the song may seem familiar and not so scary.

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