Written by Kim Leggett (Clean Health Online Master Coach)
As a competitor, you would’ve heard of stage fright. That anxiety of being in front of an audience- sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies in your stomach, sweat dripping down your back and your mind racing with doubts and fear – which doesn’t go away with age, skill or years of experience. Stage fright is something that gets to even the most seasoned competitors.
This however, doesn’t mean you must fight it as some anxiety is good!
Instead of suffering from over- or under-anxiety and allowing your nerves get the best of you, try to use it to your advantage with these 5 steps to having more confidence on stage and nail your stage presence.
1. Practice makes perfect, then some more
This one you’ve heard before a thousand times over but regular practice creates familiarity which brings comfort and inevitably breeds confidence because you know what you are doing on stage. The moment you know you are going to compete, start practicing every chance you get. Hire a posing coach, know the poses and set up a routine so that each week you can build upon performing it more expressively and with more sass. Posing can be one of the elements which makes or breaks your performance on stage.
You may have the best physique on stage but if you can’t show it off in the best way possible it’s going to hurt you on comp day. Remember to keep your practices realistically show-like – you should perform complete sets and you should also try to practice in front of people or friends. This allows you to get feedback and more familiar with performing in front of people (aka. Eyes watching you) which can be VERY different to practicing infront of a mirror or a wall!
2. Watch yourself: use a mirror & record yourself
Yes practicing in private is great, in front of a mirror or in a quiet room as long as you can watch yourself perform. Record your routine and analyse your moves. Your honest evaluation will be critical in how you progress and get better. Be objective and if you can’t do that – again, get a posing coach who can help see things that you might not pick up on. Treat any feedback as areas for improvement, not as personal shortcomings.
3. Learn from the best
Watch the Pros and observe what it is about the way they perform (movements, body language, how they interact with the audience) that draws you to them. Take what they do as inspiration and make it your own. This can help you develop your own persona onstage.
4. Make eye contact
Avoid being a zombie on stage, connect with your audience and try to communicate with the crowd as this increases your stage presence. Look them in the eye and show your
5. Work on your breathing
It’s a good idea to practise different breathing exercises so you can better control your breath whenever you’re nervous. Especially for girls on stage, working on breathing can help you be more conscious of slowing down and relaxing. A big mistake many make is that they get nervous and do everything (their routine/posing etc.) way too fast.
Being onstage should be a fun experience where you can have a good time while learning from your mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Getting better at any skill requires time and effort, so it’s important to work your way up one step at a time.
Are you looking to learn trialled, tested and evidence-based nutrition and training methodologies to coach comp prep for both male and female physique athletes in bikini, fitness, physique, figure, and bodybuilding? Click here to enrol into Dr Layne Norton’s Training the Physique Athlete online course now & SAVE!