Stage fright? Don’t try to calm down
  • corporate
  • Blog post

Stage fright? Don’t try to calm down

Public speaking is a common source of anxiety, even for training professionals. The next time anxiety strikes, trying to stay calm might be a mistake. Instead, get excited.

Researchers from the Harvard Business School conducted a public speaking experiment with 140 college students. Before the speech, half the students were instructed to say “I am calm” while the other half affirmed “I am excited.”

The speeches were then recorded on video and evaluated by three independent raters. Those who’d stated “I am excited” scored better on every performance measure, including confidence and persuasiveness.

According to the study, prompting the subjects to reinterpret their anxiety as excitement improved performance.

The positive results were replicated under several conditions, including a math test and a karaoke singing contest.

Source: Brooks, A.W. (2013). Get excited: Reappraising pre-performance anxiety as excitement. Journal of Experimental Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0035325.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share:

Get a demo of all our training features

Connect with an expert for a one-on-one demonstration of how Rapid Learning can help develop your team.