Performance anxiety or choking ruins many performances be it under the field of sports, public speaking, music performances, dancing, acting, and many others. A performer may practice his or her craft for months and years but getting attacked by performance anxiety on the most crucial moment of his or her performance is such a disappointing and frustrating thing that could happen to anyone.

Researchers suggest that people who are more self-conscious, anxious, and afraid of being judge negatively than others are more susceptible to performance anxiety. This goes to show that no one is safe from choking. So how can we avoid performance anxiety? Here are some tips that you can do to avoid choking.

Tips in overcoming Choking:

  1. Practice under pressure – It helps to anticipate performing under stressful conditions rather than practicing under comfortable environment. Why? Because performers who have been accustomed to pressure will find it easier to execute the routine under the watchful eye of many audiences.
  2. Doing breathing exercises – Now, breathing exercises helps calm the nerves during performances. This also lessens the negative thoughts that comes to mind before each performances making you remember and focus better on the task at hand.
  3. Doing a rhythmic sequence of movements – Doing a repetitive movements like squats or any short rituals can lead to more accurate and consistent execution of the routine under stressful situations.
  4. Have external focus – Researchers suggest that when someone is too focused on the mechanics of the task, the chances of failing is higher. This is why it is important to focus on the execution of the task itself rather than the mechanics of the task at hand.
  5. Walk around – If you have the time, you may walk around to relax your mind and calm your nerves. Walking improves focus and helps you remember everything you practiced.

With all these tips in avoiding choking, I guess it is safe to say that ‘Practice, while focusing on your goal is the ultimate “Practice makes perfect” method.

Source: Ted-Ed