How Oxiracetam Makes You a Better Public Speaker
Some of the worst moments of my life have involved standing in front of a crowd of strangers in a situation where I’m expected to give a talk. The experts agree that public speaking the most stressful things most of us will be ever asked to do.
I’ve given well over a hundred talks, but it never seems to get any easier. Sometimes my anxiety manages to spur me on to a good performance, but on too many occasions, my nerves has meant a lackluster talk.
I’ve read many books on the topic of public speaking, and I attended a couple of courses, but I’ve yet to find something that works every time. I’ve recently become interested in nootropics (smart drugs), and I’m hoping that these may offer an effective solution – in particular, the nootropic drug: Oxiracetam.
Why is Public Speaking So Difficult?
I’m not a particularly shy person. I’ve no problem turning up at a party and making conversation with complete strangers. I love talking to people one-on-one (it can be hard to shut me up), but there is just something about talking to a crowd that can turn me into a quivering nervous wreck.
Many famous people, such as Hugh Grant and Robbie Williams, have struggled so much with this type of anxiety that they have needed to cancel performances.
The reason public speaking can be so difficult is that many of us suffer from stage fright. This is a type of anxiety that can arise if we are expected to perform in front of people, and it can include symptoms such as: sweaty hands, facial tics, nausea and vomiting, a pounding heart, dry mouth, dizzy spells, body tremors, panic attacks, insomnia and a feeling of impending doom.
These symptoms can begin long day before the actual performance. I usually find it hard to sleep in the days before a talk, and it can feel as if there is a lump in my stomach. On the actual day of the public talk, I can feel close to panic.
The symptoms of stage fright occur because the body feels under threat, and this triggers the fight or flight response. It means the sympathetic nervous system gains control, and this leads to the release of adrenalin into the bloodstream. The less important parts of the body shutdown, such as the digestive system, so that the body is better ready to deal with any danger.
It is believed that the most common cause of stage fright is a feeling of not being prepared. This does seem to be the case with me. I do prepare hard for my talks, but my anxiety prior to the event makes it hard for me to absorb information.
I always worry that I’ll forget the material once I’m on stage, or I’ll say something stupid because of nervousness. I’m reasonably intelligent, but I always feel like an idiot when I’m caught up in stage fright.
How to deal with stage fright
I’ve discovered techniques that can lessen stage fright, but I’ve not found any type of magical cure. Meditation has proven to be a good way for me to control my anxiety on the days leading up to a talk, but I tend to be too anxious on the day of the event to practice this technique.
I do still try to focus on my breathing, and this has the effect of calming me down a little bit. I’ve also tried mentally chanting right before I’m due to go on stage, and this also seems to reduce my anxiety.
I always try to go for a long walk on the morning of my talk, and this can be a great help too. I usually start off with my thoughts racing, but by the time I’ve walked a few miles, things will usually start to calm down.
The only danger with this option is that I tend to get an upset stomach before public speaking, so I have to try to not walk too far from a toilet. I once walked for a couple of hours in my hotel room, and it did ease my stage fright, but I felt dizzy from all the turning.
One thing I’ve never really got around to trying, but I believe it works, is visualizations. This is where you imagine yourself giving the talk flawlessly while feeling full of confidence and enthusiasm. You keep repeating the visualization on the days coming up to the event and apparently it means that when they day comes, it is like you are almost on auto-pilot. Professional athletes like Tiger Woods swear by this technique, so there must be something to it.