Darlene Rogers Overcoming Stagefright
Region 17 Music School Handout
January 26-28, 2007
The perfect “State” of Calm and Perspective
in which to appear in front of Others…..
Hakula, sometimes called “The Presentation State” is the perfect state for appearing in front of
others. It is the opposite of thetunnel-vision-fear state many have experienced, creating a
feeling of calm, and enabling the greatest perspective and flexibility of behavior and response.
Pick a spot on the wall, somewhere higher than eye level, around the center of your field
of vision. Now, as you focus on the spot, notice that in a matter of seconds, you can see
things in your peripheral vision. If you take all yourattention and focus totally on that
spot on the wall, notice that you can actually see things in your peripheral vision.
You may find that you can now see a full 180 degrees. Staying focused on that spot,
raise your hands in front of your face, then draw them round to the sides of your head
and notice just how far you can see – you’ll find it is around 180 degrees from one side
all the way aroundto the other.
Now notice that you can shift your attention down onto an object in front of you, and
maintain your full peripheral awareness as you speak, present, perform.
This state of focus-with-peripheral-awareness is what we call “The Presentation State”, it was
name ‘Hakula’ by the ancient people of Hawaii.
Hakula is perfect for presentations because it shifts the mind into a state whereit is ‘contextually
all-aware’. In this state, negative emotions such as fear are reduced or eliminated, because
whatever we focus on is perceived in a broader contest.
Typically we find that if clients think about a problem, and grades it at, say 4/10 importance,
then sifts into Hakula, the problem immediately seems trivial. Often the Fear of Presentations
can be immediately reduced in thisway, thus:
All yourself to go into Hakula by focusing on a spot on the wall, and allowing your
awareness to spread to your peripheral vision. Feeling the intense calm of this state,
squeeze your left fist for 10 seconds. (This is called an anchor.)
Now return to normal.
Squeeze your fist and think about singing in public, as you do so focus on a spot and go
back into Hakula. You will findthat now as you think about singing it feels a lot better.
Stay in this state for 20 seconds or so.
Always go into Hakula before singing in front of others. When perfected it will allow you
to maintain a calm state throughout your presentation, and meanwhile will provide relief
Darlene Rogers Overcoming Stagefright
Region 17 Music School Exercises
January 26-28, 2007 Page 1Exercise 1. Self-Talk
Develop a list of encouraging statements that you would find helpful if you could come
to believe them. Some examples are:
“When I sing before an audience, I have more than enough air. If feels
as though my air goes on and on and on.”
“My heart rate shows down when I sing in front of a group.”
“I easily can relax my abdominal muscles and breathe deeply and
“When Iam in front of a group, more and more I am learning to simply
let go and relax”.
MUSCLE RELAXATION TO HELP MANAGE PERFORMANCE ANXIETY
Exercise 2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Tense for about five seconds and then relax for about ten seconds each part of the body listed
below. Notice the difference between tension and relaxation. Repeat the procedure a second
time. You can vary the musclegroups you wish to work on to suit your needs.
1. Hands - Make a fist with your hands, feeling the tension growing in the hands and arms
and then let go of the tension completely by letting the fingers spread out. Repeat.
2. Arms - make a fist with your hands and bring the hands towards your shoulders, creating
tension in the arms. Relax and then repeat.
3. Shoulders – shrug the shoulders up...
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