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Better Performances Come From Being Excited, Not Calm

The American Psychological Association reports that trying to calm down before a public performance can actually make things worse. Instead, say the researchers, those who convert their nervous energy into feelings of excitement by envisioning how things would go well perform much better.
In a trial involving karaoke, [subjects] were randomly assigned to say that they were anxious, excited, calm, angry or sad before singing a popular rock song on a video game console...

Participants who said they were excited scored an average of 80 percent on the song based on their pitch, rhythm and volume as measured by the video game's rating system. Those who said they were calm, angry or sad scored an average of 69 percent, compared to 53 percent for those who said they were anxious. Participants who said they were excited also reported feeling more excited and confident in their singing ability.

Continues at the APA...

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