Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

By Fingal Pollock - experienced actor and trainer with Skillset

I have spent much of my adult life on the stage – and for the first ten years I was terrified of it. I ended up getting over my unhelpful stage fright with a couple of surprisingly easy techniques.

I learnt how to keep breathing slowly and deeply, and I learnt how to feel my points of contact on the floor.

That’s all well and good, I hear you say, but you can’t exactly start meditative breathing in the middle of a presentation, can you?

Maybe not, at least not whilst you’re still getting good at it. But, thanks to your imagination, you can get some practice in before your big day.

Take some time to yourself and imagine you are doing that which would normally send you into panic mode. It’s important to get specific - imagine the texture of your clothes, the feeling of your shoes and the smell of the room as you speak to the entire office or meet an important client. The more detail you can use, the better you’ll trick your mind into thinking it’s real. Then you’ll begin to activate, in a controlled environment, the fear response.

Once you are imagining the dreaded event, you can begin to actively feel your points of contact on the floor and practise your deep and measured breathing. You will start to train your body and your mind to feel relaxed.

Practice makes perfect, and soon it will be second nature for you.

Thanks to our imagination, we can slowly train ourselves, in controlled ways, to feel calm in the face of fear and therefore begin to feel more confident and relaxed – no matter what the context.

Good luck,


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