Imagine the crowd in their underwear as you stare forward above the their heads, standing straight with your feet plotted on the ground. Drips of salty solution slither from your raised brow down to the sides of your prominent nose and eventually reach the dry, chapped lips of a nervous performer.
Whether attempting to woo an audience on the stage or formally presenting for a grade in a class, it is fear that turns our confidence around, blankly facing the stone wall.
Often associated with classes here at the Creek, especially since the change towards common core standards, are the dreaded powerpoint presentations. They are typical activities within the English, Science, Foreign Language, Math, and, obviously, the Performing Arts courses.
Common Core promotes the project style learning that enforces the use of presentations, maintaining their relevance in a student’s curriculum. After years of this psychological torment, the nerves and the butterflies in your stomach are not lost on those familiar with these practices.
“Practice makes perfect,” goes the usual phrase, but even students acquainted with dazzling their classmates with their so-called expertise can be terrified by that very prospect every time it comes around.
Cures such as the ones mentioned above, imagining people in their underwear, starring above their heads, or maintaining good posture, are supposed to relax and calm the presenter. However, once the process begins, it’s difficult trying to keep up with the pace of your talking and the emotions running through your head.
The best tricks are learned from experience rather than taught, and the emphasis here is on “trick.” Lying to yourself may feel like an evil within itself, but in reality deception provides a comfortable mindset unlike any other.
For the worrisome or mentally unprepared, the greatest defense for uneasiness is an offensive strike of knowledge and understanding. Of course, the last resort for conquering the monster that is fear, is to just wing it.