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August 24, 1940

Stage Fright and What to Do About It

JAMA. 1940;115(8):638. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810340066033

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This is a carefree and rollicking little book on stage fright and what to do about it. It is based on sound physiologic principles. Stage fright is defined as a form of fear and especially fear of the unknown or fear of that for which the individual feels himself badly prepared: in other words, lack of self confidence. Stage fright with its quaking knees, trembling hands, cold sweats, internal turmoil, dry throat, unreliable voice and blank mind is likened to the primitive fear which brings about overactivity of the autonomic nervous system and the adrenal medulla. The remedies proposed are simple and sensible procedures which may be summed up in making adequate preparation for public appearances and thus building up a well founded confidence in ability to perform acceptably. Such preparations include suitable attention to appearance, dress, posture, knowledge of subject, preparation of speech and becoming accustomed to public appearances.

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