Performance anxiety is tough. Especially when you’re getting started it can feel so daunting to get up there in front of everyone and showcase your skills. I still remember my first set in a club so vividly and the nerves that haunted me beforehand. Once I got up there, things actually weren’t as scary as I thought they’d be though. For one, a club system is usually pretty awesome, which means that the booth monitors will hopefully be lovely and everything will be easy to hear. This will help you feel more comfortable. For two, it’s actually a lot of fun up there. Once you’ve got that to distract you, you’ll be fine.
1. Shift your focus
Focus all your thoughts on your music and on the task at hand of mixing. Use this as a distraction from thinking too much about yourself or what people may think of you.
2. Breath deep and slow
If you start to feel anxiety coming on take a moment for a slow deep breath to slow your heart rate. Slow deep breaths have been scientifically proven to calm nerves which means less performance anxiety.
3. Limit caffeine or other stimulants
Too much caffeine will make anyone anxious, whether or not they’re on stage with a dance floor of people in front of them. Avoid too much of anything that will elevate your heart rate further.
4. Be prepared
Knowing you’ve got an intro sorted, you’ve practiced your set well or that you have a bunch of tricks up your sleeve will help you to feel so much more confident once you’re up there in the booth.
Smiling will not only help you to look more confident to the crowd but has also been scientifically proven to combat stress, even if the smile is fake.
Remember, it’s ok to make mistakes. Even the best DJs do it. Have fun, play some quality tunes and people will love you.