The Best Performance Anxiety & Stage Fright Books

Last Updated: July 9, 2021

We investigate the best performance anxiety & stage fright books for high level performers. Covering classics like ‘In The Spotlight’ and ‘Speak With No Fear’, if you’re a high level performer who suffers from stage fright, these books can help you.

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.

Book Recommendation 1: In The SpotLight by Janet Esposito

Book title: In The SpotLight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing

In the SpotLight - Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing by Janet E. Esposito

Overview

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.

About the author

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

Book title: Getting Over Stage Fright: A new approach to resolving your fear of public speaking and performing

Overview

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.

About the author

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

Book title: Speak With No Fear: Go from a nervous, nauseated, and sweaty speaker to an excited, energized, and passionate presenter

Overview

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.

About the author

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

Book title: Public Speaking: Speak Like a Pro – How to Destroy Social Anxiety, Develop Self-Confidence, Improve Your Persuasion Skills, and Become a Master Presenter

Public Speaking: Speak Like a Pro – How to Destroy Social Anxiety, Develop Self-Confidence, Improve Your Persuasion Skills, and Become a Master Presenter (Communication Skills Training)

Overview

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.

About the author

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…

Key Takeaways

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.

Take a look at our other solution articles:

Atenolol for Anxiety - what you need to know
Beta Blockers for Anxiety: Guide
Natural Beta Blocker Alternatives for Anxiety
Propranolol vs Metoprolol for Performance Anxiety - which is best?

Leave a Comment

PerformanceAnxiety.com Owner & Lead Writer

Anita is the owner and lead writer for PerformanceAnxiety.com. A seasoned musician and public speaker herself, she is no stranger to the very real fear and anxiety that can strike right before a high-pressure situation. That's why Anita is passionate about writing content that helps people learn about and overcome their anxieties & social fears so that they can perform at their best when it counts and live anxiety-free lives.