With over 73% of the world suffering from mic fright, if you experience nervousness around public speaking events, you’re not alone. Public speaking anxiety, also known as stage fright or mic fright, is an extremely common issue that can become severe enough to affect daily life for some people.
Public speaking anxiety and glossophobia (the phobia of public speaking) often manifest in physical and mental symptoms. In addition to repetitive thought patterns and rumination, you might also experience shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat, nausea or dizziness, stomach symptoms, and other physical displays of anxiety. Serious cases of mic fright can even lead to panic attacks, or severely debilitating episodes of fear. This anxiety can also impact your communication, interpersonal relationships, and feelings of self-worth.
Your fears might not be exclusive to high-pressure speeches in front of hundreds of people. You might feel anxious at work meetings, school presentations, or even during a toast at dinner with a small group of family and friends. That’s part of what makes these fears so troubling: they can strike at any time, affecting your quality of life on a regular basis.
How to Manage Public Speaking Stress
Nervousness around public speaking can be lessened with the right stress-relieving techniques and lifestyle changes. However, if you experience extreme cases of public speaking anxiety that disrupt your daily life, the best option is to visit a doctor or mental health professional.
Check out a few of the expert-recommended techniques you can use in the moment and as daily additions to your routine to decrease overall stress:
- Prepare for events: Practicing speeches, making notes, or rehearsing in front of family and friends can help you feel prepared and grow more comfortable with regular public speaking.
- Explore the causes of anxiety: Understanding the causes of your mic fright may help you overcome the fear by seeing it realistically and developing productive self-talk strategies.
- Try mindfulness-based relaxation techniques: Mindfulness is a proven strategy for managing anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. Try mindfulness activities like meditation, breathing exercises, and mindfulness walks.
- Use grounding strategies: Grounding techniques like going on walks, running your hands under cold water, or describing your visible surroundings to yourself can be helpful tools to use before, during, and after public speaking events.
- Set reasonable expectations: Cut yourself some slack by setting reasonable expectations for your public speaking, such as “I may stutter a few times, and that is okay.”
- Exercise daily: Healthy lifestyle choices like exercise, diet, and avoiding substance use can help regulate overall anxiety levels, giving you extra power over mic fright.
- Work with a therapist: A therapist can support you in developing strategies that work for you to control your public speaking anxiety and get to the bottom of your fears.
New Research on Cannabidiol & Mic Fright
Cannabidiol, a compound found in the HEMP plant, has been studied for its potential anxiolytic, or anxiety-reducing, capabilities. In particular, there are a few new studies on how cannabidiol may be a helpful tool to use in cases of public speaking nervousness.
First, the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology published a study of 24 volunteers that aimed to test the effects of cannabidiol on nervousness and stress when administered prior to a simulation public speaking test (SPST).
The volunteers were 12 patients with generalized social anxiety disorder and 12 healthy control patients (HC). Researchers administered either 600mg of cannabidiol or a placebo to the volunteers 1.5 hours before the public speaking test. Their reaction was assessed at 6 different points during the SPST using the Visual Analogue Mood Scale (VAMS) and Negative Self-Statement Scale (SSPS-N), as well as several physiological tests (heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductance response).
According to the study’s authors, the VAMS test showed that the volunteers who were given cannabidiol had lower anxiety, discomfort, and cognitive impairment compared to the control group. Similarly, the cannabidiol group did not show the same increase in Negative Self-Statement Scale assessment that the placebo group did.
There was no significant difference between the healthy control patients and the cannabidiol volunteers, demonstrating cannabidiol’s potential effects on the stress felt from the simulation.
A second study out of the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry explored exactly how much cannabidiol would have the desired effect on the volunteers by assessing 3 different oral servings of cannabidiol and one placebo.
57 healthy male subjects volunteered to receive the cannabidiol prior to a simulated public speaking test. 15 of those volunteers were given oral cannabidiol servings of 150mg, 15 volunteers were given 300mg, 12 were given 600mg, and 15 were given the placebo.
Similarly to the first study, the researchers evaluated the volunteers at six different points during the simulated public speaking test using the VAMS and physiological checks on blood pressure and heart rate.
Interestingly, this experiment found that volunteers who were given 300mg of cannabidiol experienced significantly less anxiety during the test. In comparison, volunteers in the 150mg, 600mg, and placebo groups did not show major differences.
The authors of the study concluded that their findings support other cannabidiol studies in animals, noting the importance of this trial in future experimentation of finding the optimal serving of cannabidiol for public speaking.
Mic fright is more than just having sweaty hands when you get onstage. It can impact your social life, career, school success, and more. Living with public speaking stress or glossophobia means you have to manage intense physical and mental symptoms on a regular, even daily basis.
If you experience public speaking anxiety, know that there are strategies that can help you successfully navigate your stress. Mindfulness, exercise, therapy, and more can all decrease the stress of public speaking in any scenario.
Along with that, as research continues to grow on natural supports like HEMP for promoting feelings of calm, you can have access to even more mic fright management strategies. HEMP wellness products offer an all-natural option for you to boost feelings of relaxation, whether that’s during public speaking events or as a daily change.
Find Broad-Spectrum HEMP oil products at Science-Rite, all made with NANO HEMP for the ultimate absorption power, allowing you to experience effects with less wait time.
Learn more about how HEMP may help soothe daily stress, enhance relaxation, and encourage a healthy sleep cycle over at our blog. And discover your perfect HEMP serving size, stay up to date on HEMP news, and find more exciting products, all here at Science-Rite!