FOR STAGE FRIGHT
How to Sing, Preach, Teach or Give a
Speech Without Nervousness
Glen's pastor was so impressed with something Glen told him that
he asked him to share it with the whole congregation. Glen had
done some public speaking and didn't think he'd be nervous. He was
Glen belongs to an enormous church. As he gazed at the church's
five thousand seats, television cameras, and bright lights, his
palms started to sweat, and his legs turned to mush. Try as he
might, he couldn't relax. Suddenly, just seconds before he was
called upon, Glen's wife turned to him and asked gently,
"Honey, are you doing this for yourself or for these people?"
Glen recalls, "When she asked me that question, it was like a
pin bursting a bubble. All of a sudden, I didn't care about how I
looked, how my words would come out, or what people thought of me.
I didn't even care if I fell flat on my face on the way to the
microphone. All I could think of was that a lot of people had
traveled thirty or more miles to this church, and I owed it to
them to give them more than someone up there who just cared about
himself. When I got up to speak, I was free from fear, and I
actually had fun. Afterward, it was a joy to have people say that
what I shared was exactly what they needed."
If we stand up to speak or sing God's word, and nervousness
transforms us into blubbering idiots, God's kingdom is hindered,
and Satan smiles. Nervousness can diminish or even destroy our
I have been a blubbering idiot on several occasions. Several
nasty symptoms arise when I am plagued by nervousness:
1) Sometimes my mind goes blank. A roomful of people stare at
me expectantly, waiting to hear something profound, but I can
hardly remember my name.
2) I talk too fast. Pausing allows people time to let things
soak in, but I'm afraid to pause--lest people use that moment to
conclude that the speaker is an idiot.
3) I am too flustered to think clearly. Regardless of how
organized my notes might be, my presentation is disorganized. I
often cover points in the wrong order or leave them out
There are people
4) My jokes aren't funny. Because my timing is shot to pieces, all
attempts at humor fall flat. If people laugh at all, its only
because they feel sorry for me.
5) I fail to establish a rapport with my audience.
These nervous symptoms can short-circuit the communication
process so that very little penetrates the minds and hearts of the
Fortunately, if we are willing to face up to the true cause of our
nervousness, God has a cure.
(assisted by Brent Wallace)