advertisement

Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Too Shook Up to Speak Out?
Is there any way to treat fear or anxiety associated with public speaking? It is something I must (and want) to overcome to develop both my professional and private goals.
A
Answer (Published 11/15/2004)

Many people, including professional actors and politicians, get nervous before speaking in public. This can be a lot worse when fear of public speaking is a manifestation of social anxiety disorder or social phobia, defined as a persistent and irrational fear of situations that may involve scrutiny or judgment by others. Fear of speaking in public is a very common type of social phobia. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in any given year approximately 5.3 million Americans suffer from social phobia. We don't know what causes these problems. They may be learned, inherited or, possibly, biochemical in nature. Researchers are exploring the idea that heightened sensitivity to disapproval may be physiologically or hormonally based.

Related Weil Products
The Weil Vitamin Advisor for Stress and Anxiety - Do you feel stressed out? B vitamins may help - they support adrenal function, alleviate stress and calm the nervous system. Learn more and start your free evaluation now!

As someone who does a lot of public speaking, I have learned that a bit of anxiety can be a helpful way of focusing my energy before a talk. I wouldn't want to eliminate it completely, but here are some recommendations for managing anxiety when it is too overwhelming to be useful:

 

  • Learn breathing exercises. Practice them regularly and do them before speaking to keep yourself calm.
  • Work with a hypnotherapist. To find one in your area experienced in treating fear of public speaking, go to www.asch.net, the Web site of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
  • Take a dose of a beta-blocker, such as Atenolol, 30 minutes before you have to speak. Beta-blockers are drugs usually prescribed to control high blood pressure. Consult your family physician, or a psychartrist who treats anxiety disorders, particularly social phobias.
  • Consider cognitive behavioral therapy, which is very useful in treating social phobia. The goal of this form of treatment involves helping patients gradually become more comfortable with situations they fear. It includes deep breathing to control anxiety.

 

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Updated 4/13/2005

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Follow Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet and save 30%. Start your 14-day free trial now!

Stay Connected with Dr. Weil
Promote the health of your body, mind and spirit - sign up for Dr. Weil's FREE newsletters today!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Join Drs. Weil And Chopra For A Free Online Event - Learn how to revolutionize your health. Register for the free Radical Wellness event now!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2016 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here

  

Q & A Library



Q
Too Shook Up to Speak Out?
Is there any way to treat fear or anxiety associated with public speaking? It is something I must (and want) to overcome to develop both my professional and private goals.
A
Answer (Published 11/15/2004)

Many people, including professional actors and politicians, get nervous before speaking in public. This can be a lot worse when fear of public speaking is a manifestation of social anxiety disorder or social phobia, defined as a persistent and irrational fear of situations that may involve scrutiny or judgment by others. Fear of speaking in public is a very common type of social phobia. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in any given year approximately 5.3 million Americans suffer from social phobia. We don't know what causes these problems. They may be learned, inherited or, possibly, biochemical in nature. Researchers are exploring the idea that heightened sensitivity to disapproval may be physiologically or hormonally based.

Related Weil Products
The Weil Vitamin Advisor for Stress and Anxiety - Do you feel stressed out? B vitamins may help - they support adrenal function, alleviate stress and calm the nervous system. Learn more and start your free evaluation now!

As someone who does a lot of public speaking, I have learned that a bit of anxiety can be a helpful way of focusing my energy before a talk. I wouldn't want to eliminate it completely, but here are some recommendations for managing anxiety when it is too overwhelming to be useful:

 

  • Learn breathing exercises. Practice them regularly and do them before speaking to keep yourself calm.
  • Work with a hypnotherapist. To find one in your area experienced in treating fear of public speaking, go to www.asch.net, the Web site of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
  • Take a dose of a beta-blocker, such as Atenolol, 30 minutes before you have to speak. Beta-blockers are drugs usually prescribed to control high blood pressure. Consult your family physician, or a psychartrist who treats anxiety disorders, particularly social phobias.
  • Consider cognitive behavioral therapy, which is very useful in treating social phobia. The goal of this form of treatment involves helping patients gradually become more comfortable with situations they fear. It includes deep breathing to control anxiety.

 

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Updated 4/13/2005

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.