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Aug 05

Is There a Cure to Public Speaking Fear?

Consumer Note: I am in no way advocating the usage of this product. I am only providing my thoughts on the creation of such a product and what people can do for themselves without relying on tablets.

A pill has been released that claims to be a public speaking cure. Bravina is a combination of 9 different herbal ingredients including Gingko Biloba and St. John’s Wort. The website says that it aides with relaxation and concentration. Ultimately to help you overcome the fears of public speaking.

While it’s all well and good that people have attempted to create a public speaking cure, I don’t believe that there is a “magic pill” that you can take to alleviate your public speaking fears.

You might be able to pop a pill 1 to 2 hours before you’re due to speak and face the crowd in a relaxed manner, but what if you’re using a microphone and it breaks? Then what? Can the pill help you then?

What about if your PowerPoint crashes, the pill can help you out then can it? What happens if you go blank? You’ll have no fear, but no speech as well? Lack of a speech will create its own problems.

How do you overcome the fears of public speaking then?

I was also actually quite surprised that on the FAQs page there isn’t any mention of any potential side effects to taking the drug. Even though it’s a combination of herbal ingredients one or a combination may cause a problem.

I think that much of your public speaking fear can be dealt with through prior preparation. You have to know what to do in those scenarios where things go wrong, so that you can truly overcome the fears of public speaking. It’s not having a lack of fear, it’s having confidence. The confidence to be able to think on your feet and find a solution to any problems that may arise. That comes through preparation and experience.

How do you get experience? Well, I’m afraid that ultimately you have to get up in front of an audience no matter how small. So you could start with a couple of family members or friends. It’s the sheer fact of getting in front of people and practising that can help your experience and confidence level soar.

The more you get in front of a crowd, any crowd at all, the more your stage comfort will improve. I think that’s the best and most lasting public speaking cure that you can find.

Here are 5 confidence tips that can set you on the path so that you can overcome the fears of public speaking without pills:

1. Memorise your Opening – knowing how you’re going to open your presentation will allow you to start strong and confidently without you fumbling around not knowing how to begin.

2. Know Your Equipment – find out how it all works and know what to do in the event of a system failure. There are a few basic quirks that you can absolutely handle yourself without involving the I.T. Department.

3. Meet Your Audience – is it possible for you to mix and mingle with members of your audience prior to speaking to them? Once you’ve found out a little bit about them and shaken some hands, you can then look for those familiar faces when you present.

4. Act as if you are Confident – be clear on what confidence looks like to you. Make sure that you don’t confuse confidence with arrogance, that can come about through youth for example. Once you know how a confidence person acts, act as if you are that person or act as if you are confident. The more you fake it, the sooner you’ll make it. Eventually it will become real for you.

5. Avoid Caffeine – caffeine, found in tea, coffee and a umber of soft drinks, makes you agitated and increases any anxiety you might have. Eat bananas, the provide energy and the potassium helps relax muscles. Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated, but make sure you go to the bathroom before you start!

(Please note: I have provided a link to Bravina’s website not because I advocate taking it, but to provide with the information that inspired this post)

6 comments

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  1. Lisa Braithwaite

    Great post, Jason — which I can’t help noticing you posted at 7:00 pm, while mine posted at 2:37 pm…

    The way around public speaking anxiety may not be easy, but it *is* simple, and you’ve laid it out perfectly.

    Here’s a post I wrote about the medicalization of shyness and “social anxiety” with links at the end to a couple more (including surgery and medication for blushing): http://tinyurl.com/c2wayj.
    .-= Lisa Braithwaite´s last blog ..Payment vs. exposure, part 2 =-.

  2. Laura Bergells

    There’s only one cure for public speaking fear.

    The banana.

    First, get a banana. Hold it in front of your face. Blow on it. Hard. For one minute.

    Next, peel and eat the banana. Down the whole fruit in under a minute.

    Works every time.

    I know this sounds crazy. I suspect you don’t believe me.

    Try it. You’ll see.

    (But please. Use your Flip video camera to film the entire procedure — banana blowing, munching, and your entire, fear-free performance. Next, post it online — and point me to it on Twitter. You’re welcome.)
    .-= Laura Bergells´s last blog ..The Days of Talking Heads Are Nearly Over =-.

  3. Jason Peck

    Hey Laura,

    The next speech I give where I may experience some nerves, I tend not to, will probably be my Groom’s speech at my wedding.

    However, I don’t really want to record that and upload it on line. The next other opportunity I get to try this out I will definitely let you know.

    Thanks for dropping by and contributing… you made me laugh.

  4. Stephanie Scotti

    Hi Jason,

    Came to check out your blog on the fear of public speaking. . . great article. I second the 5 confidence tips you discuss. The banana . . . that’s another story all together! “See you” on twitter!

    Stephanie Scotti

  5. Jason Peck

    Hey Stephanie

    Thanks for the comment. Confidence in public speaking is such a large subject, it’s difficult to know which are the best tips to include.

    However, I think the tips I’ve included here are valuable.

    Cheers

  6. Richard Garber

    See “Deephaven Discontinuing Ad Claims, Testimonials after NAD Review” link at:
    http://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/news/2009/08/deephaven-discontinuing-ad-claims-testimonials-after-nad-review.aspx

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