02 April 2009
The monthly Barnes and Noble poetry reading is coming up again this Friday and, as always, I'm planning on reading a couple of poems. I always get pretty nervous right before I go on, and then come down a little bit once I'm up there reading. It's not like it's a big crowd, or anything, but having to strip my soul bare through crafted words always makes my hands shake a little bit. Don't get me wrong -- I don't really care if they think I'm terrible. But I'm also hoping they actually like my poetry and are not just clapping to try and be nice. So then, why do I get nervous? I think it's pretty typical, though, for people to get nervous before speaking in front of a group, or even when preparing to meet someone for the first time. I've been wracking my brain for some good ways to get over this little fear before Friday. And I wanted to share with you the tips that I've concocted: 1. The easiest thing to do is practice! Make sure you read over your speech, poems, or questions out loud as much as you can beforehand. And if it's a conversation you're nervous about, practice with a friend. I find that reading my poems to my mom before going to the reading helps me feel more relaxed when I'm actually up there, because I know I've done this before, and thus can do it again. 2. Another simple way is to drink some chamomile tea or light a candle with a chamomile or eucalyptus scent. Both of these smells awaken the 5th chakra of the throat, which helps with clear communication and expression. A dab of a lavender or frankincense scent will encourage the 7th chakra (representing the crown of the head) to relax and prepare you. 3. You can achieve this same goal, not with scents, but with colors. Or combine candles and colors for an even powerful effect. The Throat chakra corresponds with the color blue, especially turquoise. (You can usually see me in a lot of turquoise). The Crown chakra responds to purples, but white or gold can also be a good choice. The orange Sacral chakra is sometimes said to help with relation to people, so you might want to don a pair of orange socks or underwear if you're doing primarily blues and purples. 4. Get a friend or boyfriend to give you a massage beforehand to help you relax. Just don't get so relaxed that you fall asleep up there! 5. Get to know the people that you're going to be speaking or reading in front of. I find that I'm less nervous when Barnes and Noble is filled primarily with poets I've met or heard read, as opposed to when a bunch of new people come to experience the event. This is obviously hard if you're meeting someone for the first time, but just think -- after that first interaction, the hardest part is over! 6. Most importantly -- believe in yourself. If you believe in your own strengths, talents and abilities, everything is possible. Once you're sure of yourself, others will be too. Good luck, and wish me luck!