The Simplest Way To Overcome Fear When Speaking Before A Crowd
Everyone struggles with stage fright.
Personally, I have for years – and I have done a ton of public speaking.
For many years I was the executive director of a NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and we held monthly meetings with up to 140 people. Even though we saw each other every 30 days my nerves got the best of me each time. I would consume more cannabis in the hope it would calm me.
What changed for me was realizing that without my slides I would forget what I was talking about. I discovered that while I was trying to soothe my anxiety, I consumed too much. As soon as that clicked, I understood that overcoming my fear of speaking before a crowd would need to be relieved in another way.
I knew it had to be simple—I was just doing the wrong thing.
Here’s what I should have done instead:
Take deep breaths
I didn’t need the smoke of the cannabis plant. I needed good old fashion oxygen. Lots of it. Deep breaths. Long, slow, consistent breaths.
Now as the cannabis educator for the largest spa conference in the country, I do a whole series of breathing techniques as I pace outside the door before I start class. These days I don’t consume cannabis until class is over.
Increasing your oxygen slows your heart rate and increases the ability to concentrate. Two things that definitely come in handy right before you step in front of a podium.
Okay now – inhale and exhale….