Should I have a few shots before my Presentation?

Discussion in 'Advice Board' started by steeeve, Nov 8, 2009.

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  1. steeeve

    steeeve New Member

    hey guys. so I'm a 20 year-old university student, and i have to give a presentation on wednesday. it is 45 mins long, although i have 3 partners, so it would be divided up into just over 10 minutes each.

    i have mild social phobia / social anxiety, which is more or less an unexplainable fear of being in the presence of large crowds. it is much worse when i have to speak in front of said large crowd. i haven't done any sort of presentation in about 3 years, and i'm nervous just thinking about it. the last one i had was pretty embarassing. my heart was pounding and my throat closed up, and i could barely think. i couldn't even get the words out of my mouth.

    i am very sociable with friends, especially when i'm at the bar or at a party. i find that alcohol allows me to release inhibitions, and be able to express myself without being awkward or anything.

    i know this doesnt sound professional (nor does it really need to be, since it is just a minor presentation) but i'm thinking of taking a few shots to help relax me. i just want to know what others' opinion are of my choice.

    p.s... none of the stuff like "picture them in their underwear" or "do breathing exercises" really works for me... i just want to know what you think of my decision.

    thanks guys.

  2. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    If you honestly want to know, I think you're an idiot for even considering it.

    You're so worried about your anxiety getting the best of you, what will happen if you drink a bit too much and get all bubbly in front of the class? There's only one way to get over that kind of social fear (I have accomplished it, it's not easy) is to simply do it. Keep at it, nothing more. Open your presentation with something fun or engaging, get people laughing and that may help ease your tension.

    I think drinking may be one of the worst alternatives.
  3. Jelly_Beans

    Jelly_Beans Registered Member

    Considering to take some shots is ridiculous. I doubt it will help you at all, and it might relax you too much and it could go even worse. Don't be so stupid. Just get over your fear and do it!
  4. wooly

    wooly I am the woolrus

    I don't think it's a ridiculous idea at all. Maybe it's just Irish culture, but i'd say half the people i know have a drink or two before making a presentation!

    I find it helps with most things like this. Presentations, speeches, performing on stage. It's not that you can't do it without a drink, but most of the time it will actually improve your performance. You're usually more relaxed and stutter less etc.

    If you do have such a problem with speaking in front of a crowd (like barely being able to get the words out of your mouth) then there should be a public speaking class you could attend so you don't rely on a drink or two to make a presentation. Most universities have classes like this as a lot of people find they have anxiety speaking publicly once they get to college.

    But yeah, i don't see any problem with it. Having a few drinks or a couple of shots before a presentation is commonplace here. Just have a tic tac or chewing gum ready so you don't smell of booze talking to a lecturer!
  5. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    I guess my main problem is if it goes too far. After thinking about it a bit more, perhaps a shot or two isn't bad, but judging by what the OP said, it sounds like he wanted to get buzzed, not just calm himself down. If your attitude changes such as how he wants to be more lax, that's usually a sign that you're leaving sober territory and that could be much more damaging to someone with serious anxiety problems. Imagine having to see pictures of yourself on Facebook stumbling around class. I can't imagine it would feel good for someone like this.
  6. AnitaKnapp

    AnitaKnapp It's not me, it's you. V.I.P. Lifetime

    I would say skip the booze and see a doctor about some anxiety medication.
  7. wooly

    wooly I am the woolrus

    I'm pretty sure if the end result was stumbling around the classroom he'd have had more than a couple of shots!

    Like i say it might just be a different culture here, but for most people a few drinks before a presentation is just routine. Sometimes people head to the bar, have a few pints together and discuss the presentation before hand (then many more drinks afterwards for a job well done :p) That way you get everything organised and you've had a couple of drinks to calm your jitters and you can speak better. From reading the OP it sounds like the poster enjoys a few drinks and knows his limits.

    Obviously i wouldn't recommend getting 'drunk' before making a presentation but some people are just naturally shy and not good public speakers. Even the more confident people i know would rather have a couple of drinks before making a presentation. But it is pretty much a normal thing here so i don't see anything particularly stupid about it at all.

    Personally i'd see medication as excessive and a much worse alternative than a few pints before a presentation! Medication becomes a permanent thing that you do rely on, whereas a few drinks beforehand can be a social thing before you give your talk and then public speaking classes can improve your technique as time goes on and you get more used to speaking.
  8. AnitaKnapp

    AnitaKnapp It's not me, it's you. V.I.P. Lifetime

    That's not necessarily the case. As you said, it's normal in your culture. Just because you would be able to handle the alcohol well, doesn't mean that others would be able to have a drink before a presentation and be fine with it. What you find excessive may not be excessive for someone else, and vice versa.
  9. Millz

    Millz LGB Staff Member V.I.P.

    I've done this before Steve but you have to be extremely careful on how much you drink. I'd only take one shot of something to help calm your nerves and that's it. If you overdo it then you're screwed.

    I've always been pretty good at speeches but the one time I tried this technique (yes technique) I did even better then I had beforehand. I dont think its a terrible idea to try it...especially if its a group presentation. But I stress to be careful and not drink too much or you'll be in bigtime trouble up there.
  10. EllyDicious

    EllyDicious made of AMBIGUITY V.I.P. Lifetime

    yes. i've heard about taking a few shots when you're nervous before giving a speech or even when taking an exam. as it was previously said, it helps relax your nerves.
    i agree with Millz when he says you have to be careful about how much you drink. so would be enough.
    and make sure to brush your teeth and chew a gum to not smell alcohol 1 miles away.
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