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Julia, I've performed onstage for many years. Stage fright, fear of public speaking are very real phenomena. If I may, one thing that helped me was this. But you have to be very prudent and cautious because you can get into some serious dependency issues if you aren't. Try to take a very minimal amount of Diazepam (Valium) about twenty or thirty minutes prior to your event. This should only be done a couple of times. What will happen is that your anxiety will be relieved enough to get you over the hump, so to speak, and allow you to experience what can be a very exhilerating time and to give the performance you want to give. The most important thing is that it will let you tap into the reality that it is perfectly normal to be a little nervous in that situation and that nervousness wears off quite rapidly as you "get into" what you are there for in the first place, that is relating your information to the audience in a positive and convincing manner. Having suggested this, I would again stress that you abandon the use of anxiety suppressants completely afterward. They are extremely addictive and very difficult to withdraw from. Good luck.

Quote from julia_girl:
Hi there,
anyone know of the side effects of using small dosages of beta blockers for anxiety relief? I have an intense fear of public speaking that I cannot seem to lose. Meditation, natural supplements, etc. have not worked. I do not have any anxiety except for this, so I only need it occasionally. It is starting to affect my career choices etc because I am always avoiding it and cant anymore. I think I worry more about my voice shaking etc than the actual presentation.
Thanks for any advice!