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The Dirty Little Secret – Beta Blockers and the Fear of Public Speaking


Last resort for the fear of public speakingThe woman before me was a competent, intelligent, and normally confident person.  But the thought of public speaking, particularly to a group of executives in her company, drove her to take drastic measures.

1 – She hired me to coach her

2 – She spoke to her best friend who happened to be a physician about prescribing a med to decrease her anxiety

She shared with me what her doctor said — beta blockers are the dirty little secret that no one talks about.

Beta Blockers – Last Resort to Deal with Public Speaking Anxiety

According to the doctor, there are a number of performers who use beta blockers before they go on stage – from actors to musicians – all to overcome stage fright.

A quick internet search revealed this article from the Mayo Clinic which includes a mention of beta blockers as a last resort.  Given the Mayo Clinic’s excellent reputation in the field of medicine, it makes me feel better to know that in those extreme cases, there is an option that can give short term relief for those with extreme public speaking phobia.

As is mentioned in the article and as I discussed in a recent post, for most people preparation and rehearsal can go a long way to reduce the anxiety.  But if you have an extreme case of fear related to your public speaking, consider asking your physician about beta blockers.