How to overcome fear of public speaking?
A fear of public speaking is a common thing. Almost all orators experience discomfort. And even people who speaks out regularly state about the light concern and anxiety during their speaking. Some specialists spend many years to learn how to control fear and anxiety but dozens books and recommendations of psychologists do not let them relax.
The fear of the public speaking is one of the social phobias. This is a disorder that does not depend on severer pathologies of the nervous system. The disorder is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Rapid heartbeat;
- Excessive sweat;
- Loss of concentration;
- Constraint and tension of the vocal cords;
- Vocal jitter;
- Shortness of breath;
- Light nausea.
Dr. Brigitte Mueller-Morel, MD: There are many causes of the public speaking fear but the fear may be overcome by means of one way: take a good preparation for the speaking. Moreover, the psychological readiness plays an important role. You have to know the information well but the most important thing is to react to the unpredictable situations. People who speak out are afraid of these situations.
To overcome the fear of the public speaking, it is necessary to know a cause of this fear. If a cause consists in a poor knowledge of the information, pay attention to this. If you are afraid that the audience does not want to listen to you, or your authority is not very good to keep the attention of the audience, develop optimist and the internal confidence. Even if you have incomplete information but you represent it with 100% confidence, people will listen to you.
Rehearse. Repeat the text in front of the mirror before the speaking, and try to completely reproduce all movements and mimics during the speaking. This way, you will know how a listener sees you, and you will control your image.
Bear in mind that any orator is an actor. Do not think how you look. You should do an image where you will feel comfortable. If it happens, it will be comfortable for the listeners too.
Beta blockers for public speaking
As we have said, not all orators find the recommendations of psychologists and experts for public speaking useful. Some speakers have 100-200 workshops a year, and they still have a fear.
In these cases, doctors recommend using medical products to cope with the fear. The anti-anxiety drugs are the most effective but most of them have a sedative action and even severe side effects. So, it is better to select a safe medication, for instance, beta blockers.
The group of the beta blockers has been developed for the treatment of the cardiovascular system diseases, but the medicines are used in various fields of the medicine including during the nervous disorders.
The administration of the beta blockers during the public speaking fear helps to cope with the basic symptoms. They reduce the rapid heartbeat, redness of the face, excessive sweat, tightness and shortness of breath, they saturate the blood with the oxygen.
A uniqueness of the beta-blockers is an action on a cause of the public speaking fear, i.e. an excessive production of adrenaline. In case of the stressful situation, a lot of this hormone is released in the blood, and it causes tremor, anxiety, and frequent breathing. If the release of the adrenaline is reduced in the blood, a human will not experience this concern and will control the emotions.
Propranolol (Inderal) for public speaking. Does it help?
The mechanism of the action is clear and well-studied. The fear is accompanied with the somatic symptoms because of which a person panics even more. Propranolol helps to control these symptoms and even relieve the condition of a speaker by means of lowering the pulse and relieving the breathing.
Propranolol does not influence on the functions of the nervous system and does not change a balance of the neurotransmitters of the brain. It helps to cope with stress by reducing the somatic symptoms and a release of adrenaline to the blood. The mechanism is simple and absolutely safe. Compared to the lightest anti-anxiety products, Propranolol has higher safety index and is well tolerated.
One of the studies conducted at the end of the XX century detected an interesting fact. Third part of the participants of the International conference of the symphonic and opera musicians use beta blockers including Propranolol to control the fear of the public speaking. More than 80% of the participants stated that the drug helped them to cope with the symptoms of the anxiety and fear, and 18% stated that the drug helped them by 50% to cope with the anxiety.
Propranolol (Inderal) dosage for public speaking
A dose of Propranolol (Inderal) for the public speaking fear depends on symptoms:
- If the symptoms of the anxiety begin long before the speaking, it is recommended to take a pill of Inderal 20 mg 3-4 hours before the speaking, and a pill of Inderal 20 mg one hour before the speaking.
- If the symptoms aggravate during the speaking, a pill 40 mg may be taken 1,5 hours before the speaking.
The average dosing is 20-40 mg depending on how the fear invades the consciousness and bothers the speaking.
In any case, the use of the drug should be one-time. It acts now and here, and it means that it will not help to cope with the symptoms of the fear and concern in the longer term. Other, specific drugs are used.
Every pill is taken with enough water, and to have a faster action, take the pill on an empty stomach.