Taking the Panic Out of Performing: Avoiding an American Idol Meltdown

American Idol

Hollywood Week is the litmus test for Season 13 American Idol contestants; you are either going through or going home. But, the level of panic was massive. In fact, one contestant even had to go the hospital!

The next time you have a presentation or performance to give, try these simple rules. I’ve also created the short video for you below:

Before your big speech or performance, calm your nerves by following these steps:

  1. Stop Striving for Perfection – American Idol singers are telling themselves that their audition has to be perfect. Wrong! Don’t make the performance bigger than it is by putting yourself under that much pressure. Instead, strive for being the best at that frozen moment in time.
  2. Move your Body – It’s really hard to shake in fear when you’re doing a jumping jack; trust me. If I’m behind a curtain, I’m often jumping, shaking out my hands and feet or rolling my head. This burst of activity seems to overcome the nerves.
  3. Bite Your Tongue – Really! The act of biting the tip of your tongue promotes saliva so that you no longer feel as if your teeth are stuck to your lips.
  4. Speak Positive SelfTalk – Repeat to yourself how good you are, reinforce to yourself that you are the expert; acknowledge that you’ve put in all of the preparation for an outstanding talk.
  5. Do a Quick Rehearsal – Even if you only have a few minutes, run to an empty room or even the restroom to test your opening out loud. Just the act of speaking your planned words starts the positive mood flowing and interrupts any negative energy.
  6. Take a Big, Deep Breath – Right before I hit the stage, I’ve taken one, huge, “cleansing” breath, pushed my shoulders down, and told myself to knock it outta the park!

How do you calm the nerves? Please share in the comments below.

2 Comments
  1. These are great tips for all speakers but for some people we need to take it one step further. My focus is nutrition and biochemistry so here are my tips: eat real whole food, have protein at breakfast (low blood sugar can make you feel anxious), no sugar/soda/caffeine/gluten, address the gut (there is so much research now on the gut-brain connection), balance brain chemicals with GABA and/or tryptophan, address social anxiety with zinc and vitamin B6. I used to have terrible anxiety, panic attacks and fear of public speaking but am now anxiety free because of the above!
    Trudy, author of “The Antianxiety Food Solution”

  2. Oh, Trudy, these are really good ideas. For me, I eat a few hours BEFORE my talk so that I don’t have to worry about spinach in my teeth. I also like to be a little hungry so that all of the energy isn’t going to my stomach.

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