About 40% of my clients experience mild-to-severe anxiety when it comes to public speaking. Roughly half of these anxious clients are able to manage their symptoms through some combination of preparation and mindfulness techniques like breathing and visualization.
That leaves the other half – about 1 in 5 clients – whose anxiety is resistant to these natural techniques. They find public speaking to be torturous. This impacts their effectiveness, since it’s hard for an audience to listen when they sense a speaker’s anxiety.
My advice to these clients: ask your doctor if a beta-blocker would be right for you! This class of drug is indicated for the treatment of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues. But beta-blockers are frequently prescribed off-label for temporary relief of stage fright.
Most people experience vastly reduced anxiety without side effects, which is why many doctors will write a prescription for otherwise healthy patients. By all means, conquer anxiety naturally if you can. But if you can’t, consider taking a pill that will reduce your suffering and help your audience hear what you have to say.