DBQ 3. Watch: Joe Kowan: How I beat Stage fright—Ted talk.

Joe Kowan brought forth a number of techniques for dealing with stage fright and stress. Build off of Kowan’s mantra for success, about what you can do to reduce your apprehension about public speaking.
Please post and respond by Sunday, May 24, 11:59pm. Original posts, 3-4 sentences; response to peers, 3-4 sentences each.

24 thoughts on “DBQ 3-CLOSED

  1. “How I beat Stage Fright” by Joe Kowan gives a few ways to handle stage fright and the fear of speaking in front of people. To me this is super helpful as I am not the biggest fan of public speaking. One way that he overcomes his fears is that he would connect with the audience and have them feel the same fear and awkwardness that comes with stage fright. This allows everyone the opportunity to be experiencing the same feelings that he feels. He also points out the purpose of “picturing the audience naked”. He ends up making it more of a joke on the fact that they should all really be putting their clothes on . This places the person performing and the audience on the same level, creating a space of equality among all people in the room. I think being able to tackle your fear of public speaking is a tool that will help you in many aspects of your future. I am typically not shy and find myself always looking to have conversations with any individual that I might come into contact with, but when it comes to speaking to crowds I can’t help but break down. I look forward to trying these tips to overcome my own stage fright.

    1. Hi Kimberly,
      I like how you pointed out that embracing the stage fright puts the speaker and audience at the same level. It is very important to not feel like one group is above the other but to have the speaker trying to communicate with an equal. I am the opposite though, while I do converse with people fairly often, I would much rather be addressing a large group of people than tackle a one on one conversation.

    2. Kimberly,
      I really enjoyed your response to this TED talk video. I feel like a lot of us can relate to you in a sense that large crowds are frightening, but from my perspective once you practice it, things become a lot easier and less stressful. I am definitely with you that things are easier when it comes to talking to smaller groups or even individuals, whether I know them or not. It is much easier and less stressful. I really enjoyed you pinpointing the fact that he mentioned the idea of getting the crowd involved in your own feelings and your own experience. I have never thought about this concept before and it stood out to me when watching this video so I am glad you picked up on it and connected to it as well.

  2. Joe Kowan explained the different “symptoms” of stage fright showing how our body’s sympathetic nervous system gets us sweating, voices trembling, and other various reactions. He offered up that the body doesn’t know the difference between a saber tooth tiger and 20 folk singers when stage fright is concerned because both cause the same response. One of the biggest ways he has explained to get past it though is simply to embrace it. While you can try and just picture the crowd in their underwear or not looking anybody directly in the eye, you can also just realize the symptoms of stage fright and embrace it. Show the audience exactly how you are feeling and let them understand what you are going through. The whole point of a speech is to relate to the audience so it is important to view the audience as a comforting place to share. I think embracing the stage fright is the first step to getting over it and I am excited to embrace this way of thinking when it comes to public speaking.

    1. Hi Sierra,

      I saw your comment above from my recent post and think it is so funny that we are very opposite when it comes to public speaking. Personally, I wish I preferred speaking in front of big crowds vs. individual conversations. I think it is great that you addressed how Joe points out it is important to embrace his fears in order to overcome it, I also look forward to trying his methods when it comes to public speaking.

    2. Sierra,
      I enjoyed your response to this TED talk. one thing I pinpointed while watching was the concept of embracing the symptoms that come with stressful situations. I feel like in my past I have done that and it as worked and the fact that he grasped the audience by allowing them to know the emotions he is feeling was a very cool thing. I agree with you 100% that embracing stage fright is definitely a step in the right direction, and with practice things will get even easier. You picked out some really good examples from this video and I really enjoyed your outlook and takeaways.

    3. I also really enjoyed how he included the anatomical part of being nervous, it showed that it is an actual human response loop and not just something made up. I think letting the audience experience the nerves with you can create a connection between the speaker and the audience, especially if the speaker makes the audience laugh. Like you, I believe that this will help me become more comfortable while speaking on stage.

  3. Hi Kimberly and Sierra,
    I thought that it was really a good method that Joe Kowan used to both overcome some of his stage fright and to use it to create a connection with his audience. By letting everyone feel his anxiety and yet demonstrating how he worked to overcome it he was able to really engage the audience in his talk.
    Yes, as you pointed out Sierra he does embrace the feelings of fear, his bodies autonomic system reacting to stress and his hesitancy to perform in front of others. I also see how he challenges all of these feelings and as he says that he performs to that same crowd several times, until he begins to overcome his fear. It’s what we talked about in the first post, preparation, practice and trying your best will help you to improve and succeed.

  4. Joe Kowan tries to find ways to deal with stage fright; something many people deal with a numerous times throughout their life. His TED talk “How I Beat Stage Fright” was very eye opening. He shows that although fear lingers around him every time he walks on a stage, no matter the size, he is able to persevere with the right mindset and techniques. In my eyes, his techniques and positive outlook is very encouraging and helpful and can lead many people in the right direction or even open their minds to the fact that it is okay to experience fear, no matter the situation. I really enjoyed the fact that he created a song that the audience could connect with. Something that allowed them to connect with his emotions and his feelings, so he didn’t feel alone and more importantly he felt understood. Although his fears are serious, he tends to make them into jokes and something humorous to allow his mind a little more at ease. He mentioned the idea of picturing the audience in their underwear, which is something I have heard of before but not something that works for me. For myself, growing up I was a gymnast and competed in front of judges, and under a lot of pressure. Do I still experience fear? Of course. But I mostly experience it trying something new and out of my comfort zone. Usually if I am scared to perform something I just think back to the time, effort, and hard work that I’ve put in to prepare myself for this stressful time. Usually that puts me at ease but trying something new is completely different. You don’t have the practice and the skill to perform the way you know you can, and that can be scary. I am excited to find ways in which I can improve with public speaking and even trying new things, and this TED talk was very uplifting and eye opening.

    1. Hello,
      I also really enjoyed the song portion. It definitely helped the audience see what he was going through and was a great icebreaker. I think it really cool that you look back on all the practice you went through and it makes it all worth it. I have never looked at it hat way and next time I’m nervous I will definitely use this method!!

    2. Hello,
      I think you really summed up Joe Kowans performance really well. He does a great job of creating a connection with his audience. He uses a song to draw his audience in and also to help him to overcome his fears.
      I liked how you make a connection to performing gymnastics. It requires so much practice and effort to prepare and the pressure is definitely there for you when you perform.
      Trying new things and having new experiences is always just a bit difficult at first. I think though, that once you get through the initial challenges, we usually find that it wasn’t as bad as we first thought. We grow and we learn an we come out better in the end.

    3. The idea of trying something new is scary to most, but I liked how you said that if you are well prepared for it, the task can be somewhat fun to accomplish. I agree his comedic relief is something I would like to try in the future to help me become more comfortable because I think that would make it more of a conversation. The stage fright song was a great idea as well to get his audience’s attention and have them enjoy his ted talk. This is a great idea, which I could never do seeing as I don’t sing, but is very helpful for those of you that can sing.

  5. HI everyone,
    I found Joe Kowans, talk to be a really good example of ways that we can all work to get past our fears and insecurities, especially related to public speaking. I believe that the “fear” of public speaking is listed by many psychologists as one of the most common fears in most people. Joe Kowan makes that fear relatable to his audience. He also engages them to help him to overcome his own fear and to acknowledge that we all probably share this fear.
    I also feel that he “empowers” his audience to challenge their own fears and attempt to conquer them

    1. It’s crazy that a simple activity is one of the most common fears. Our fear of being judged takes over our bodies and makes the entire situation way more uncomfortable. It’s important that we see people like Joe who can fully admit that they have been where we are now. I personally couldn’t ever see myself doing a TedTalk but I bet Joe couldn’t either earlier in his life. His empowering speech motivates people like us to make our own empowering speeches.

    2. Hi Frank! I like how you emphasize that he relates his fear to the audience to almost ensure that the audience understands how he is feeling. I also agree that he empowers them in a way because he is showing how one can overcome this fear by using their bodies natural reaction to ease their nerves. Joe Kowan being able to even do a TedTalk just goes to show how his techniques worked so well for him!

  6. I really enjoyed how Joe Kowan included a comedic aspect in this speech in order to get the crowd laughing. This is a great way to release a little bit of the nerves you could be feeling. It is eye-opening to hear that a lot of people also experience the same fear I have, and listening to his story about how he had to play the stage fright song until he didn’t need it anymore showed that he grew from his experiences. You could visibly see that once he started singing, he became a lot less nervous than he was at the beginning, Overall I believe that this ted talk really gave me hope that I could get over my fears as well.

    1. I completely agree that adding comedy to a presentation makes it more light-hearted and easier to deliver the speech. Not only is the speaker more comfortable but the listener is more receptive to the message. I agree that it’s nice to know that other people fear public speaking like I do and it’s even better to know that people get through it. I’m glad you and I (and all of us) can progress in our abilities together throughout this class like Joe did.

    2. I’m glad that this Ted Talk helped you realize that many people have stage fright! I also like how Joe had added a comedic aspect to his presentation to really engage the crowd. I agree that he did seem less nervous while singing the song than he did in the beginning. I like how you pointed out that you can actually see Joe’s growth and that you hope you can get over the fear too.

  7. I have plenty of history with stage fright. Too many times have I been absolutely terrified before a performance. Both while singing and while public speaking I have the same sympathetic nervous system symptoms that Joe explains. I don’t think I’ve learned to embrace these symptoms but I mostly just try to ignore them. I can’t imagine how I’d react if I came across a saber tooth tiger because my symptoms are already severe when I am on stage. Joe’s song is the perfect way to bring both the speaker and the listener to the same level so that neither feels uncomfortable.

    1. Hi Riley,

      I agree with you that I also have a history of stage fright, I feel like it has only gotten worse with age. It is like the anxiety is worse and it only makes it more difficult for me to present. I think that the way Joe puts the speaker and listener on the same level is a great way to break the ice. I look forward to trying this out one day and hope to learn a lot of different techniques in overcoming my fears of stage fright.

    2. Hi Riley!
      I agree that I too have not yet embraced my nervousness, but I also hope to in the future and I hope you can too. I like how you stated that Joe’s song puts the speaker and the listener to the same level and how that helps the stage fright. That is a really good thought and a nice way to expand on what he said during his Ted talk.

  8. Joe Kowan talked about how he is slowly getting rid of his stage fright. I could really empathize with Kowan when he said he was feeling fine until 10 minutes before his performance and as he put it “a wave of anxiety” overcame him. I can relate to this because anytime I have to do something nerve racking I am completely fine until right before and then I get incredibly nervous. He also talks about how his voice sometimes is wavy when he is nervous and that had definitely happened to me before. I really like how his way of overcoming stage fright was just to face it head on and exploit his own stage fright. This is something I hope to use for public speaking. I want to face any nervousness head on and just push through until eventually I am no longer nervous.

    1. Hi Ann! I have a similar reaction as well; leading up to about 10 minutes before I have to do a speech or take an exam, a wave of nervousness hits. I agree that he exploited his own reaction of nervousness by making a song that highlights his bodies natural reaction.

  9. Joe Kowan sets a prime example of overcoming stage fright by using his bodies natural reaction to fear, the fight or flight mechanism, to inspire a song. The song allows for him to address the obvious discomfort he is feeling when he is onstage, and it allows for his initial stage fright to soften in order to continue to play. As time goes on, his stage fright decreases due to his continuation of playing, which also shows that rehearsing is made easier as time goes on. In the end, I think it inspires me to think of something that helps me get rid of the jitters I feel on stage, such as rehearsing often and maybe doing speaking exercises seeing as my response to stage fright is speaking really fast.

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