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How to be confident

Dec 7, 2013
Hey guys I have a question : How do you do to be confident ( and relax ) with your audience when performing ? Yeah practice is important but if I really perform a trick that will be the exact same , i'm not confident and panic a little bit .
Sep 1, 2007
There is no shortcut here. Confidence comes from security, which comes from experience in the field. Get out there and perform. If you screw up, it happens. It's not the end of the world and once you internalize that it gets easier. So if you're looking for a magic bullet, there isn't one. You need to go out there and perform.


forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
Louisville, OH
Steer is correct. Confidence is only gained through experience which does entail failures as well as successes. If you are fearful of getting caught or your level of experience isn't where it needs to be, then I suggest using some self working type effects which will allow your mind to focus on presentation and interactions with the audience rather than "panicking" and "worrying" about whether or not you are going to correctly execute a sleight. Try it. Seriously.

Confidence can also be gained by performing the same effect over and over and over again until you have learned it correctly and incorrectly. For example: If I have a new effect that I know I want to start using in my strolling set, I will go test it out everywhere and carry it with me each and every day trying it out on different types of people until I have messed it up every possible way and figured out how to get out of screw ups, learn my outs, etc. Eventually you will instinctively know how to perform the effect without even worrying and all of your focus can thus be transferred into the patter and entertainment value.
Sep 1, 2007
Two things I've found helped me quite a bit in this area. The first is something Max Maven mentioned on a DVD, admitting that his confidence didn't come until he finally messed up a part of his show...and nothing happened. He wasn't stoned to death or boo'd off stage - he moved forward with the show and has begun to take considerable amounts of risk in his live performances.

Confidence isn't knowing that you won't screw up, it comes from knowing you'll be alright if you do.

The second piece of advice is this, "fake it till you make it". Visualize yourself doing it; the steps, the approach, the routines, etc. Then take a deep breath and go for it. If you're going to fail make it glorious! Fail so well that people think you did it on purpose. Life is hardly worth living without a bit of fear keeping you going.

"If I could go back in time and change one thing about all the mistakes I made, I would put on a cape so it looked like I *bloody* meant it."

Good luck to you, have fun
Aug 31, 2007
Well this could go both ways, is your question in respects to confident in your trick or confident as a person, i.e anxiety, shakes, and such?

I'll just got ahead and get into my answer. Your body needs to feel confident. Right before walking up and meeting the people or entering on stage, hold your head up high, have good posture, and smile. Psychologically this will help build esteem and confidence, it's just science. If you have fear messing up a trick then you have not practiced that trick enough. It's okay to have the shakes, even I know that, but you should be performing to a paid audience unless you know the stuff like the back of your hand and can do the phases with your eyes closed. Otherwise your mind will be too bothered to focus on patter/presentation/character/being you, and you will be at risk for failure.

When you are anxious or scared, in that moment you need to dumb it down to exactly why you are panicked.

Fear of failure? Fear of being embarrassed? Cause if you simplify it you will find the key, the answer to your struggles.

Before my New Year's gig I was anxious, I had a lot of things going on, I was in stop and go traffic (which didn't help), I was sweating, and making sure my prop management was right. When I arrived at the gig I held my head up high, became my bigger self, and just told myself, "I'm gonna smash some brains, give them a good time, they don't know whats coming! I'm simply just showing them the trick and being the presenter". Nailed it, bada-bing-bada-boom.

Find the source of your panic otherwise it will lead to frustration.
Sep 1, 2007
Belgrade, Serbia
Apart from all the great answers you already got, I'm just going to add that you need to KNOW EXACTLY when and what to do and say. You need to practice your speech as much as the slights, if not more. I'm always nervous when I know I'm not prepared well enough, when I didn't practice enough. On the other hand, I'm NEVER nervous when I know exactly what to say and when to say it.
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