Public speaking fear is supposed to be one of the number one phobias human beings have, next to heights, snakes and spiders. The reason is that there are dozens or even hundreds of eyes looking at you, and from a predator-prey perspective, you are prey, ready to be pounced upon!
But all is not lost because lowering general anxiety can help you gain more control over your thoughts and reactions to the situation. When I see people for fear of public speaking, I use a mix of mindfulness, solution focus – for you to see what they want to achieve – hypnotherapy – to help relax and place you in the daydream state where you can go over the scenarios in a calm focused manner. This helps the mind feel safe doing presentations or talks. If thoughts are rather extreme then I can call some CBT into use, which can overcome the self-predicted disaster, which our minds are very good at creating.
Speak with confidence
- Does your job require you to speak to a group of people on a regular basis?
- Do you get very nervous before speaking?
- Do you experience dry mouth, fast heat beat, sweating, mind going blank, shaking legs?
- Perhaps during networking and being introduced to new people will trigger off the anxiety.
I have a special program for public speaking fear, which covers:
- Learning about why your brain lets you down when you need it most.
- Reduce general anxiety.
- Learn to love the situation.
- scramble memories of past failures.
- Get used to speaking without hesitation.
- Being more organised.
When you are coming up to your public speaking engagement, don’t leave it too late. Many people think one session will be enough, but it’s much more effective if you can do at least 4 or 5 sessions or possibly more. So if you know you’re going to speak on a particular date, make sure you book sooner than later and make sure you get your message out and enjoy the day.
If it’s your first public engagement, we can bring in some extra tools to help you get it right, in the same way, sportsmen and women use filming to see where they need to improve. If your job depends on addressing large numbers of people then this program can help improve your confidence to do a better job.
Case study for public speaking fear*
Sally had been promoted at work and part of her new job was to do presentations in front of her colleagues. She came to me because her fear of public speaking caused her to a) Forget all the presentation and b) shake.
We spent 5 sessions over 4 weeks with the last session the day before her next presentation.
Using the rewind we scrambled the couple of bad experiences she’d previously had, and used visualisation to help her rehearse the next presentation without panicking.
She also put together a plan of rehearsal which also included her husband, so she could learn everything off by heart and he could make sure nothing was missed. When she had completed her presentation she sent me a card thanking me and said it had all gone to plan.
Penny Ling is a widely experienced hypnotherapist who has worked with everyone from top executives to stroke victims since 2007. She has been editor of Hypnotherapy Today Magazine and is a supervisor and mentor for members of the AfSFH and NCH.
Read Penny’s inspiring story “How I beat all my phobias”, or find out more how hypnotherapy could help your problem by downloading “How Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help with life”. Feel free to send Penny a message here.