Public Speaking – What's the Worry?If the fate above sounds disastrous, it's happened to many people before including some of the best speakers in the world. A fear of public speaking is called “glassophobia”, but it is a general form of worry and fear about being seen, scrutinized, and judged by others.While psychologists like to come up with a name for everything, speaking in front of an audience is a unique emotional experience whether we admit it or not. Like Mark Twain once said “there are two kinds of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars.”You're going to be nervous and that's okay. We've got some methods you can use to handle your fear of speaking in addition to your general mood in social situations.
Keep Calm and Speech OnIn the world of nootropics, we are still in a phase where there are natural herbs and extracts used for thousands of years contrasted with experimental enhancers that have only anecdotal evidence. Still others are a combination of both, but here is a breakdown of the nootropics that might help you for public speaking.
Nootropics for Public SpeakingL-Theanine – this amino acid is derived from green tea and helps to improve relaxation and alpha brain waves. Usually it is consumed with caffeine, but as we will explain below it is better to take L-theanine by itself if you are struggling with speaking publicly.Ashwagandha – used in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is still a popular nootropic herb today. Many see improved emotional and mental clarity, but for public speaking it is particularly useful as a calming option that can compete with prescription enhancers.Mucuna Pruriens – this natural plant from Africa has been used by locals for hundreds of years. Mucuna pruriens offers the brain added dopamine, which increases feelings of happiness and decreases stress. It also helps you to feel a lot more confident, which is something you need during a speaking engagement.Lemon Balm – this is a great nootropic, but it can be sedative and cause drowsiness. Each individual reacts differently to this at different doses and times. The first time we tested lemon balm, it was incredibly powerful and sedating. In more recent times, the experience has not been as strong as it once was, but has been soothing enough to help in social situations. Check out our mood complex that contains Lemon Balm, and several other natural nootropics.
Nootropics to AvoidCaffeine – it's something we all enjoy, but if you are doing a lot of public speaking, try to avoid caffeine the day of the event. Everybody is different, but the more caffeine in your system, the more likely you are to build up adrenaline in the brain. That added adrenaline in the brain creates a dry tinder effect where any mass stress (such as speaking) can be the catalyst for a panic attack. Even if this doesn't happen, you can experience more worry simply due to adrenaline and cortisol.
Big Picture – Habits to Solve Public Speaking ProblemsIf you have ever been in a super uncomfortable social situation or speaking engagement, you probably remember every bitter aspect of the experience. While nootropics are powerful and effective tools, working on yourself in different ways can provide exponential results for reducing stress associated with social situations. Here are some good options to start.Meditation / mindfulness - We have written extensively about the benefits of meditation for altering your brain. It can also help you to achieve a more relaxed mindset towards stressful social situations. Once you become aware of your habits, you can stop them before they become overwhelming.Know your material - The greatest way to be confident at a speaking engagement is preparation. Some of the most confident speakers are only that way because they have worked on their material for so long beforehand. Prepare it over and over again.Speak in front of a mirror so you can get used to seeing yourself. Pretend you have an audience and visualize them in front of you. If you have had the experience and spoken a thousand times (whether to yourself or in your mind), suddenly the real thing isn't the first experience!Don't plan everything - One of the greatest things you can do is to add a level of playful spontaneity in your speaking. Nothing goes according to plan and the more you have spontaneous aspects incorporated into your engagement, the better off you are going to be. You will feel more comfortable, your audience will enjoy it more, and you'll be better off replying.