How to Hack Presentation Skills with Nootropics
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to show up on stage, confident, calm, and ready to deliver perfection? For some of us, this may be more of a stretch than others. Public speaking can be quite daunting and nerve wrecking even for the most professional speakers. Maybe you have dreams of doing a TED talk one day or maybe you just want to make it through your presentations at work. What ever your speaking goals are, I am sure that we all want to perform our best when on the stage. If you would like to be free from anxiety, free from worry, and able to easily deliver flawless speeches for which you are able to influence and move the audience, then you need to read this article.
4 Categories of Speaking Skills
- Speaking techniques (i.e. good eye contact and body gestures)
- Preparation habits (i.e. Practicing every night to your cat or your steering wheel while driving)
- Preparing one’s mental state (i.e. getting the butterflies to fly in formation or imagining the audience naked.)
- Aligning one’s internal beliefs with the purpose (i.e. Simon sinek’s starting with “why”. Developing conviction for your speech topic.)
As these are 4 types of skills that help you achieve success in speaking, I would like to present to you a 5th way which can be considered an “advantage” or a “hack” if we are to borrow some programming terminology.
The 5th Skill
The 5th way is to change our neurophysiology into that of an intelligent and polished speaker. How we think and how we perform is all governed by the neurochemicals in our brain; mainly neurotransmitters and hormones. Neurotransmitters are molecules that sit between brain cells and help transmit signals. When we sleep, there are more of certain neurochemicals such as melatonin and GABA, and when we run, other neurochemicals are expressed such as adrenaline and dopamine. This neurochemical balance is changing all throughout the day and is dependent on our psychology, our environment, and our diet. We don’t think of these consciously very much but I think most people already have a basic understanding. For example, sometimes we wake up feeling tired. We are still feeling the hormones and neurotransmitters of sleep. But we are busy people and need to get to school or work so we reach for a cup of coffee. The caffeine in coffee releases neurotransmitters and hormones associated with high activity. After taking a few sips, we suddenly feel alert and awake. This is an example of how we can control our neurotransmitters and hormones through our diet.
Neurochemicals determine everything we think, say, do and how well we perform. Just a 1% change of one neurochemical can cause you to think, say, and do completely different things. Where we are tired and irritated, a slight change of serotonin can cause us to become awake and happy. There are many characteristics that can be changed through supplementation such as creativity, happiness, confidence, calmness, focus, anxiety, intelligence, mood, humor, etc. These characteristics are just expressions of our neurotransmitters which fluctuate moment to moment. By mastering control over these neurotransmitters, we can control which characteristics we choose to express at any given moment.
Seeing that public speaking is very daunting for almost everyone, I would like to share with you a variety of useful supplements that you can use during your speaking practices to give yourself an unmatched advantage in the game of public speaking.
To do this, I broke down the most important moments for supplementation into 3 parts: sleep, preparation, and performance. Here is a list of supplements that can help you get a quality sleep. We will go over what they are and how they work briefly.
Being that sleep is the most critical factor to our daily performance, let’s start here. Keep in mind that we are seeking a quality sleep. Not to fall asleep fast, or sleep for a long time, but rather sleep well so that you feel rested and energetic the following day. It is most important to sleep well 2 days before your speech, but all sleep is important.
- Melatonin: A hormone that your body creates to tell your mind to sleep 
- Lemon balm extract: Fights viruses which reduces neuroinflammation which in turn reduces irritation allowing your mind to relax. 
- Phenibut: A drug with very few side effects that was developed in Russia during the 70’s for their astronaut program. It reduces feelings of anxiety and promotes relaxation. It even works while being strapped onto a rocket while being blasted into space! 
- Oleamide: A derivative of omega-9 oil that targets the same receptors as cannabis to help you relax. 
- Ashwagandha: An ayurvedic herb that reduces stress hormones. 
- American Skullcap: Increases GABA (the neurotransmitter for relaxation) 
- Magnesium: A mineral that our muscles use to relax. As our body relaxes so does our mind. 
- CBN, linalool, myrcene, and beta-caryophyllene: Cannabinoids and terpenes found in marijuana that promote better sleep.
- Valerian: A sedative that is said to help people relax. However, no study has proven valerian to help give a better quality sleep. Some studies proved that it actually caused people to sleep worse!  It seems to do well with people who have trouble staying still and staying asleep the most. So be careful when using this supplement for sleep.
Here is a list of supplements that create effects in the same day that you take them, but the effects leave as soon as they came.
- Phenylpiracetam / aniracetam / oxiracetam / noopept: A racetam class of substances that increases acetylcholine (the memory molecule in our brain) levels. These are reported to be the more effective of the racetams for improving memory and have some residual memory improving effects. 
- Nicotine: Mainly found in harmful things such as cigarettes, but, if consumed through the skin at a rate of 1mg / hour, can increase memory formation with minimal side effects.
- Caffeine: In low doses has been shown to improve memory. Higher doses are associated with worse memory, so be careful.
Here is a list of memory improving substances that usually take weeks to notice the benefit, but the effects stay with you semi-permanently.
- Bacopa monnieri: An ayurvedic herb used in India for thousands of years to improve memory and overall mental clarity.
- Alpha GPC / Citicholine: choline supplements that just increase acetylcholine levels in your brain.
- Creatine: Improves brain cell metabolism which improves overall neuron functionality, including memory formation.
- Turmeric: An ayurvedic herb that is also used for better memory. Usually not reported to be as pronounced as bacopa monnieri.
- Lion’s mane mushroom: A chinese medicine mushroom that improves your brain’s ability to form new connections.
- Huperzine A: Another chinese medicine that is associated with memory improvement. 
- Uridine / Phosphatidylserine / Fish Oil: 3 lipids that replace the bad fats in the brain with more usable and flexible fats. This allows the neurons to move more easily and thus form new connections more easily.[20-22]
- Fladrafinil / Adrafinil: Eugeroic substances that promote mental alertness that have continuously shown memory improvement in studies.
Also, in all reality, we are often too busy with work or school to have time to practice speeches. And by the time we get to our speech at the end of the day, we are all tired already. So here are some supplements that help give you a lasting energy that will help you energetically practice your speech after a long day at work.
- Fladrafinil / Adrafinil: These eugeroic substances are very powerful for creating lasting feelings of wakefulness.
- Microencapsulated caffeine: Caffeine molecules that are usually coated with a lipid or polymer that is designed to release the caffeine to be absorbed by your body over the period of a few hours.
- Hybridized caffeine: Some companies have combined caffeine to other molecules to slow their digestion and prolong their effects.
- Oxiracetam: Out of all the racetams, oxiracetam is known for lasting the longest with the effects noticeably lasting about 8-14 hours. 
- >85% Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains caffeine as well as theobromine. The latter of which can give a subtle energy that lasts about 12-16 hours.
So now you have some suggestions as to how to get good sleep in the nights preceding the day of your speech to ensure that your mind is refreshed for your speech. Next we went over how to maximize the effectiveness of your practice time by reinforcing your memory with acetylcholine promoting substances. We also listed some supplements that are able to deliver lasting energy so that you can practice your speech while carrying out a busy schedule.
Now it is game day. Time to deliver the speech. I am sure we all want to show up energetic, confident, and intelligent. And most importantly, able to remember the speech! So to do this we will need 3 types of supplements. One for each category.
Energy / Alertness
- Fladrafinil / Adrafinil: Again, two great supplements for promoting wakefulness without the negative side effects of caffeine.[23,24]
- Guarana Extract / Green Tea: These are two caffeine sources that typically contain less caffeine than coffee and include polyphenols that reduce the negative side effects of caffeine such as anxiety, which is critical for public speaking. 
- >85% Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is actually even better than tea or guarana at producing a calm, focused energy and can be quite beneficial for a speech.
Worst supplements for performance
Be very careful with taking caffeine as one of the more prominent side effects of caffeine is increased anxiety. This is the last thing you want to experience while delivering a speech. In fact, here are some of the worst supplements one can take before delivering a speech.
- Black tea
- Energy drinks
- Caffeine pills
Each of these are known to increase anxiety and stress levels  which will at the very least make you appear disconnected from the audience and not convinced by what you are talking about. Of course many people, including myself, have experienced much worse from taking caffeine before a speech. So it is best to stick with a wakefulness promoting supplement that also gives focus, calmness, and concentration.
Creativity / Recall
Great speakers are able to think on their feet. If the slides are out of order, or people start yelling in the hallway, they are able to make a joke out of it and continue exactly where they left off. To have the ability to do this, one would need to enhance their creativity and their ability to recall information from their memory. There are a few supplements that are particularly useful for this.
- Phenylpiracetam / aniracetam: According to anecdotal reports, these two of the racetams seem to help best when trying to recall information.[23,24]
- Noopept: More subtle than the previous two, but good at improving recall.
- Nicotine: Has been shown in studies to help with memory while in high demand situations. 
Confidence / Mood
Professional speakers are also able to walk out onto a stage confidently and calmly. When our anxiety lowers, our heart opens up, allowing us to reach out to the audience. Have you ever talked with someone and it seemed like they were distracted by something else, maybe their cell phone? And how did you feel? And have you ever talked with someone and it seemed they were totally on level with you, full eye contact, loving every word you said? How did it feel? This is the difference in how the audience will perceive you when you are unconfident, versus being confident. A little confidence can go a long way in terms of emotional impact and influence that you can create with your speech. Here are some supplements that can help you maintain your confidence and calmness.
- Nicotine: Again, if consumed correctly, can be an ally for providing confidence during a speech.
- L-theanine: Promotes improved focus and reduced stress. (Note: Necessary if taking caffeine as it can help negate the anxiety related side effects.)[34,35]
- Bacopa Monnieri: Promotes clear thinking which certainly helps reduce anxiety.
- Mucuna Pruriens: Increases dopamine levels in your brain, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for the “Yeah! Let’s do it!” attitude even in the face of fear.
- Ashwagandha: Reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Reduced stress can improve confidence.
- 5-HTP: It is a precursor to serotonin: a neurotransmitter associated with happiness. Nobody wants to hear a depressing speech, so it’s best to keep one’s mood uplifted.
- Phenibut: Again, the Russian astronaut drug coming to the rescue. If it can cause people being blasted into space to not worry, then it can certainly help you not worry as you step up to your next speech.
Two things we must mention. One is that everyone’s body reacts differently to each supplement. It is important to find out what works best for you, as the listed supplements are here for your reference as to what neuroscience research has shown to improve certain characteristics that we have specified as desirable for the purpose of public speaking for the purpose of this article. However, what applies to the masses, does not necessarily apply to the individual. Only you will know your body best. Secondly, you must note to not take any supplements without the approval of your physician. For the purpose of this article, we are merely showing which supplements could be useful in a public speaking situation based on research and collections of anecdotal reports on the internet and how you supplement your diet is completely up to you.
Now that you have an awareness of these available tools that can help you craft the neurophysiology of a professional speaker, you can feel free to pursue your future in public speaking in the most efficient way possible. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to book your spot on Shark Tank just yet. There are many fundamental skills behind speaking, of which have to be studied, practiced, and repeated. A great place to practice these skills is Toastmasters International. It is a non-profit organization that spans over 90 countries that helps people from all backgrounds improve their speaking skills in a supportive and collaborative environment. This would also be a great way to test your supplementation practices so that you can ensure that when the big day comes and you are performing that speech that really matters for your career, that you are able to perform at your optimal level.
Another way to ensure that you can perform your best while public speaking with the least amount of risk to your neurophysiology is to use our product THRIIV. It was formulated by our scientists to deliver a balanced, controlled, and confident energy, using the best of our recommendations in this article and combines other technologies that help that are not even included here. As for when to use it, THRIIV would be most useful for when you are practicing and when you are performing.
We at Nootripure Laboratories wish you the best with your career while taking on public speaking with courage. We are here to help you perform your best. If there is anything we can do to help you with your challenges, feel free to reach out and let us know.