how to get rid of nerves

Dec 4, 2011
8
0
Imperial, CA
sometimes when I perform in front of people, my hands start to shake and i do routines pretty fast. I wanna get over this already even though its normal for anyone who perform in a large crowd. Any advice or tips?
please feel free to share personal experiences
 
Jul 14, 2010
206
0
Croatia
Practice even more. The more you perform, the more you'll deal with new situations up to a point where nothing can surprise you. Confidence is the key word here. Also, don't consume caffeine and if you start to shake go into an effect or a routine that's pretty much self-working, e.g. Do as I do.
Jamie D. Grant has a nice essay on this subject on this very forum and the topic has also been answered numerous times.

Cheers!
 

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,579
3,849
New Jersey
When you start performing, engage the audience. As part of your patter, ask them some questions and start a conversation. Have a couple of lines of dialog in your script before you start doing anything with your hands.

What the heck am I talking about? Nerves are a result of two things... a fear of looking foolish and a fear of the audience not being interested. By talking to your audience you get them interested. You also get positive feedback by asking them questions. Your brain is tricked into thinking that this is a regular conversation -- something you have done millions of times.

Also, make sure you rehearse your presentation. That is, have a script and learn it the same way you learn the sleights. Then practice speaking the words while you do the sleights. When you start to perform it will feel just like practice as soon as you say the first sentence and you will be less nervous.
 
Jun 1, 2009
1,068
6
Look around on the forums, there are PLENTY of threads discussing this.
The main advice is to practice so you know you have the sleights down, then practice the patter so you don't stammer or hesitate. Them more you perform, the faster they go away. Good luck!

Jacob
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
15
Okay guys, we have a problem. In terms of condescension some of your are at about a 7 right now. We need you to dial it back to about a 4. Quit stealing my gimmick.

That said, I have a blog post on the subject.

http://pittandpendulum.blogspot.com/2010/05/getting-over-approach-anxiety.html

Ultimately, it's all about fine tuning your social skills without magic. There's no glass ceiling, there's always room for improvement. Just approach it with a learner's mindset and you'll make it.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Moderator
Sep 14, 2008
3,655
465
43
Louisville, OH
One thing I will tell you is that the nerves / nervousness will eventually go away and turn into more of an adrenaline rush as you get ready to perform. The shaky hands are normal when you are starting out...we've all been there.

How do you get the shaky hands or sweaty palms to go away? Well, by performing over and over and over again for "live audiences". Not sitting at home on your couch doing a practice session. Not performing for mom or dad anymore because you're in your comfort zone there. You need to put yourself into the uncomfortable situations more and more.

As David and others have mentioned, learn to interact with the audience but also know a set script that goes right along with your sleights / effect. Sometimes it feels better to start out with a completely self working effect that requires no skill whatsoever. You will calm down after this effect is over. Laughter helps calm your nerves as well.

For sweaty hands, I used to carry a tiny bottle of purell (alcohol in it....not to drink) but to rub on your hands 5 minutes before you plan on performing. This will dry them out and helps.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
15
Laughter helps calm your nerves as well.

I would add a caveat to that: do not laugh until someone else already has. If you laugh first, then they will subconsciously recognize you as being nervous. Laughter evolved as a mechanism for dispelling tension. If you laugh before anyone else, that communicates that you, the performer, couldn't handle the pressure. Smile, yes. But only laugh after someone else already has.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Moderator
Sep 14, 2008
3,655
465
43
Louisville, OH
VERY VERY True Steer. Excellent point and well taken. I've been there and laughed before anyone else and it kind of creates this weird feeling among everyone. Ha Ha.
 
Sep 27, 2007
147
0
Cenozoic, Oligocene
a wise old man told me a good way to ease shaking hands is before you perform for the night, find a solid wall, and push against it with your hands with all your might. If you can push with your fingertips.

It helps get blood circulating back into the hands and releases the tension you'll feel during performances.
 

Luis Vega

Elite Member
Mar 19, 2008
1,798
197
35
Leon, Guanajuato Mexico
luisvega.com.mx
Something to note... perform and FAIL miserably... then you´ll find out.. nothing happens...you continue living...and continue practicing... I think once you fail sometimes... you realize the worst that can happen is somebody telling you "you suck" and that´s it.. life goes on... nothing to fear and a lot to learn...

Of course.. try to fail in a Non-paid gig...
 
Jul 16, 2011
152
1
Practice your stuff till no end. I recently did a Xmas party, and it was my first ever gig where my hands weren't shaking. I had total and utter confidence. I actually surprised myself with my lack of nerves. How? I was confident in my material, because I had practiced it so much, to the point that performing the effect was second nature. Confidence through practice.
 
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