At our trainings, we poll attendees about whether they experience more pronounced stage fright in front of friends/colleagues or strangers. Our un
scientific polls tell us that it’s roughly fifty-fifty.
The drivers seem to be that when speaking to colleagues, we want to perform well because they are familiar with us or there could be career advancement on the line. The other side of the coin is that we may enjoy performing for those we know.
However, when speaking to strangers, there are no allies in the crowd, we have no real connection with the audience, and we have to prove ourselves. On the other hand, we may welcome the anonymity of strangers.
Stage fright’s activators are case-by-case, but the tools to mitigate it are universal. Hold fast to your intention, or what you want to achieve. Structure and rehearse your presentation in different environments, conditioning yourself to expect changes and distractions.
Finally, bring your A-game to every presentation. And no matter who your audience is or how they appear to be responding, keep your spirit and energy high to the very last word. Be indomitable.