Once you're prepared for a situation, you're 50 percent of the way toward overcoming nervousness. The other 50 percent is the physical and mental control of nervousness; adjusting your attitude so you have confidence, and control of yourself and your audience.
I was in the theater for many years and always went to work with terrible stage fright—until I was in "The King and I". While waiting offstage one night, I saw Yul Brynner, the show's star, pushing in a lunging position against a wall. It looked as though he wanted to knock it down. "This helps me control my nervousness," he explained.
I tried it and, sure enough, freed myself from stage fright. Not only that, but pushing the wall seemed to give me a whole new kind of physical energy. Later I discovered that when you push against a wall you contract the muscles that lie just below where your ribs begin to splay (展开). I call this area the "vital triangle".
To understand how these muscles work, try this: sit in a straight-backed chair and lean slightly forward. Put your palms together in front of you, your elbows pointing out the sides, your fingertips pointing upward, and push so that you feel pressure in the heels of your palms and under your arms.
Say ssssssss, like a hiss. As you're exhaling the s, contract those muscles in the vital triangle as though you were rowing a boat, pulling the oars back and up. The vital triangle should tighten. Relax the muscles at the end of your exhalation, then inhale gently.
You can also adjust your attitude to prevent nervousness. What you say to yourself sends a message to your audience. If you tell yourself you're afraid, that's the message your listener receives. So select the attitude you want to communicate. Attitude adjusting is your mental suit of armor against nervousness. If you entertain only positive thoughts, you will be giving out these words: joy and ease, enthusiasm, sincerity and concern, and authority.
21. To overcome nervousness, one should_______.
A. adjust his attitude as well as make preparation for a gathering
B. ask the audience to give him confidence
C. try not to be knocked down by stage fright
D. wait offstage
22. "The King and I" should be_______.
A. a film B. a novel
C. a play D. a song
23. The writer cites examples in Paragraphs 4 and 5 to support his statement that_______.
A. you will have a positive effect by putting energy into your voice
B. you're 50 percent of the way towards overcoming nervousness once you are prepared for a situation
C. you will have a whole new kind of physical energy by pushing against a wall
D. if you master the techniques informed by the author your will never be nervous again
24. Yul Brynner pushed the wall in order to_______.
A. show the writer how to overcome nervousness
B. pull down the wall
C. get physical energy
D. overcome his own nervousness
25. If you have active thoughts, your audience will detect ______.
A. that you are full of fear and depression
B. that you are tightening your vital triangle
C. that you are joyful and easy-going
D. that you are relaxing your muscles
21. A 22. C 23. C 24. D 25. C
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