Stage fright

Over the years I have spent a lot of time training science presenters. I’ve seen the best part of a full spectrum: Those calm cucumbers who get up on stage without a second thought, and those who are virtually paralysed with fear. Every time.

I have learned that you can’t always tell the latter from the former with any real degree of accuracy until there are just the two of you in rehearsal before an audience walks in the door. Sometimes the cool ones crumble.

Today, I spent some time in our theatre with a new recruit who will soon start treading the boards for herself. When I started describing the different techniques to keep the jitters in check, perhaps even turn them into a positive force, she told me about this recently uploaded TED talk.

That’s one, mighty clever way to put a positive spin on stage fright.

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