Going blank in the middle of a show or presentation is one of the most common fears of being in front of people. The number one reason people go blank on stage is the fear of going blank.
From a teacher’s perspective, I believe the sooner you go blank on stage the better. You’ll handle it and survive. Once you realize that going blank on stage is no big deal, you can not only cope with going blank, but you’ll turn it into something funny.
Here are some tips to help with the fear of going blank on stage:
The audience won’t mind if you forget for a moment, but they’ll want to know what’s going on. Don’t try to hide it. Admit it outright. Just say,
“I’ve just forgotten everything I’ve ever known.”
The audience will probably empathize with your fear of going blank on stage and laugh. If you try to hide it, your energy and attention will be focused on concealing it or wondering whether they’ve noticed. Often, if you just admit that you’ve forgotten your memory will miraculously come back.
This is my advice for anything that goes wrong. If you’re having fun, especially at troubled moments, the audience will stay with you. They love to watch you dig a hole and then climb back out of it. The worst part for the audience is feeling bad for the person on the spot. They won’t mind if you make a mistake or can’t remember, as long as you’re willing to make fun of it. If you’re okay with it, they’re okay with it.
When you’re playful your sense of humor has a better chance of kicking in so you can turn the situation into something funny.
Take a Breath
The stress of being in front of people can make you physically tense. If you take a moment to breathe deeply, you’ll realize you’re just fine. My wife, Gayla Johnson, not only tried this, but feeling that the whole audience was also uptight, she asked them to take a deep breath with her. They did and exhaled with a laugh.
Going blank when in front of people is not that big of a deal as long as you remain honest, playful and breathe.
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