You’re passionate about performing your art in front of an audience. Or perhaps you’re a public speaker and you want to make a difference in people’s lives with your talks.
But whenever it’s time for you to walk out on stage, all of a sudden you turn into a fumbling nervous wreck.
If that sounds familiar, below you’ll find four of the best performance anxiety books to help you overcome fear, and become the performer or speaker you’re meant to be.
The ideas, tips, and tricks you’ll learn in these books will help you transform yourself from a nervous, sweaty mess; to a confident performer who rocks their audience.
Performance Anxiety & Stage Fright Books Key Takeaways
If you're looking for a quick, scannable summary of the rest of this article, here are several key takeways about Performance Anxiety & Stage Fright Books:
- In The SpotLight by Janet Esposito is the number 1 rated book on performance anxiety & Stage fright. It is a deep dive into various principles, methods, and strategies to help you overcome stage fright and realize your potential as a speaker or performer.
- Getting Over Stage Fright by Janet Esposito is our number 2 rated book on stage fright and performance anxiety. In this book the author offers a holistic approach to overcoming performance anxiety where you will learn a wide array of practices and principles that create physical, mental, and spiritual well-being to help you overcome your fears of speaking and performing.
- Speak With No Fear by Mike Acker is our number 3 recommendation. This book helps the reader overcome their comparison issues when it comes to performances and public speaking.
Book Recommendation 1: In The SpotLight by Janet Esposito
Overall, this is one of the best books you can read to overcome your fear of performing and conquer stage fright.
In The SpotLight is a deep dive into various principles, methods, and strategies to help you overcome stage fright and realize your potential as a speaker or performer.
Janet Esposito, MSW, LCSW is the founder of In The SpotLight, LLC, a company devoted to helping people overcome the fear of public speaking and performing.
Janet writes and speaks from her own experience of dealing with and overcoming stage fright. When you read her book, you’ll benefit from her experience of almost two decades of helping others conquer performance anxiety.
What you’ll gain from reading In The SpotLight
Although written with performers in mind, this book will help anyone uncomfortable in social situations.
By applying the methods and principles outlined in this book, you can discover new-found freedom and power when it comes to self-expression.
According to many readers, one of the best things about this book is that when you start reading it, you’ll feel like Janet is directly talking to you.
You’ll understand that she’s been where you are, experienced the despair that you feel when it’s time to perform, and that you’re not alone in this journey.
Not only is it reassuring to know that countless others have overcome stage fright (which means that you can as well), but you’ll also learn from Janet’s and her student’s experiences in their journeys to conquer the fear of speaking and performing.
Book Recommendation 2: Getting Over Stage Fright by Janet E Esposito
In Getting Over Stage Fright, Janet offers a holistic approach to overcoming performance anxiety.
You’ll learn a wide array of practices and principles that create physical, mental, and spiritual well-being that helps you become the person who no longer experiences fear of speaking or performing.
This is an ideal book for those with a moderate to high level of stage fright, but it can also help you if you only experience some mild jitters.
This book is also written by Janet Esposito, MSW, LCSW, the author of In The SpotLight
Just like the previous book, you can expect the easy-to-understand and actionable advice to help you get over stage fright, backed by almost two decades of hands-on expertise on the topic.
What you’ll gain from reading Getting Over Stage Fright
Getting Over Stage Fright will help you in all types of social situations where you experience anxiety, including performing or speaking for an audience.
You will also learn how to better manage and reduce any anxiety in anticipation of stepping up to the stage to speak or perform.
Book Recommendation 3: Speak With No Fear by Mike Acker
Many of us fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to some of the amazing speakers we see on TV, or TED talks. Or it could even be one of your coworkers who happens to be a gifted public speaker.
By comparing ourselves to them, we further hurt our self-esteem, which only makes our stage fright worse.
This book is about avoiding that costly comparison trap, and about taking action to focus on improving yourself gradually to gain confidence and overcome fear.
Mike Acker is a leadership coach, author, and speaker. He has over 19 years of experience in speaking, leadership development, and organizational management.
He believes that lifestyle factors like spiritual practices/prayer, exercise, journaling, and community connections can be powerful tools to overcome stress.
What you’ll gain from reading Speak With No Fear
This book is focused specifically on overcoming the fear of public speaking, but you can use the same principles to overcome stage fright for other types of performances.
If you’re someone who gets anxious, nervous, and even sweaty at the thought of public speaking, this book will give you 7 strategies that you can start using today.
You will gain a new perspective, and you’ll find actionable tips you can start practicing today to become a better speaker/performer.
Book Recommendation 4: Public Speaking: Speak Like a Pro by James W. Williams
This is another great book if you need to get over your fear of public speaking.
Whether it’s a best man speech at your friend’s wedding or a presentation in a corporate board room setting, this book will provide the tips you need to engage your audience, and win them over with your charm and confidence.
James Williams is a bestselling author, specializing in topics such as confidence, emotional intelligence, and communication.
His own struggles with social anxiety led James down a path of exploring various psychological techniques and exercises to unlock the formula to be confident, assertive, and emotionally intelligent.
What you’ll gain from reading Speak Like a Pro
You’ll dive deep into the core issues that might be at the root of your social anxiety and fear of public speaking. And then you’ll get practical tips on how to overcome your anxiety and become a master presenter.
Here are some of what you’ll find inside Speak Like a Pro:
- Tips to help you get out of your comfort zone.
- How to overcome your social conditioning that causes stage fright.
- How to develop bulletproof confidence.
- A simple guide to delivering a perfect presentation regardless of the occasion.
- Key tips on body language, pitch, and vocal tonality to increase charm, confidence, and optimal influence.
- And a lot more…
All of the books mentioned above have been written by people who have either dealt with the fear of speaking/performing, or they’ve helped others overcome social anxiety and stage fright.
That means, by reading their books you can benefit from their real-world experiences of what works best.
On the pages of these books, you’ll meet countless others who also doubted whether they could ever get over their fear of performing.
The good news is that they did, and so can you.
Take the first step today, and order one of these books that resonates the most with you.