Do you freeze when it comes to public speaking?

Do you freeze when it comes to public speaking?

Do you freeze when it comes to public speaking?

Do you experience your heart racing, your mind goes blank and you feel that all eyes are on you?

Would you love for the ground to swallow you up and take you away from feelings of embarrassment, hot flushed cheeks and people judging you?

Trust me, you are not alone.

The freeze response is a very natural response when it comes to a fear of public speaking.

In the past, you may have tried to avoid speaking in public which is the flight response. In the flight response, you’ll do anything to avoid having to hold a presentation, head up a team meeting and heaven forbid speak to a room full of people that are senior to you in your job role.

When you’re not able to take flight the next option is the freeze response. In the freeze response, your mind and your physical body freeze. At that moment you’d love to be able to run away from the experience but if you’re in a situation particularly in a meeting room, on a stage, in a town hall, or in a conference room and that simply isn’t an option, you freeze.

In the freeze response, it’s like your mind does a lobotomy and you lose access to the prefrontal cortex. You lose access to everything that you were going to say or had prepared to say or wanted to say.

And even though you’re in the freeze response you’re also very aware of what’s taking place and what you’re experiencing. You may be aware that your heart is racing in your chest, you may feel your cheeks and neck start to flush or you begin to blush as the blood races up to the surface of the skin. The body can start to sweat and you feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

And even when you start to speak in public it may be that your voice comes out very wobbly, something which you’re super aware of and which sends the anxiety skyrocketing.

People with a fear of public speaking assume that it is speaking in public which is creating anxiety and fear within the body. However, for anybody, whoever contacts me about hypnotherapy for public speaking I’ll ask them the question

“When do you decide to get anxious?”

The response to this question can vary from a few days before the presentation or talk, a week before and in some cases even a month before the event.

Either way, as I explain that response lets me know that it’s not the fear of public speaking that’s the real problem.

Fear of Public Speaking – The Real Problem

DALL·E 2024 01 12 11.14.24 The Image Depicts A Professional Public Speaking Scene In A Work Environment. In The Foreground A Confident Speaker Stands At A Podium Dressed In Sm

The real problem is all of the thinking that you’re doing around speaking in public. If the fear was about public speaking then you would only experience that fear when you were speaking in public.

You wouldn’t experience the fear days weeks and months in advance!. When I explain this to a client the penny starts to drop and they begin to get a glimpse of what is creating the fear of public speaking.

I also explore with somebody what the content of their thinking is about when it comes to speaking in public and their response is very common.

For example, some people talk about the fear of the fear.

Some people talk about how when a room has reached a critical mass they start to experience anxiety but below that number, their fear of public speaking is more manageable. For example, many people tell me that up to 10 people in a room (virtual or face-to-face) can be okay, but the minute that number reaches 10 or more the anxiety goes through the roof.

Many people also report how when they’re talking to more junior members of staff they are okay. However, the minute they are in a room with people of seniority the fear of public speaking kicks in.

Again, it’s not the fear of public speaking, it’s the fear of what you think is going to happen!.

The fear of embarrassing yourself; the fear of being judged; the fear of what other people think of you; the fear of making a fool of yourself; the fear of failure; the fear that you won’t be able to speak; the fear that you’re going to be so anxious you won’t be able to get your words out. And the fear that you won’t be able to handle any of those aspects.

As I also explain to clients the fear of public speaking wasn’t the fear that you came into the world with. Through all of our experiences, we have to learn what to fear and what not to fear. Therefore there will have been an experience or an event which triggered that survival response. Once triggered the amygdala went on high alert, and the body began to flood with cortisol, the stress hormone.

In that moment when something is deemed unsafe, where something is deemed ‘dangerous’ the body takes note, it’s part of its survival mechanism. And unless we let the body know any different it will keep reacting to that stimulus. The thought generated stimulus that’s coming from the inside out.

Having worked with so many people to help them overcome a fear of public speaking something else which I witness within my clients is how their identity plays a role in their fear of public speaking.

Your identity is who you think you are. For example, if you have a fear of failure when it comes to public speaking the subtext of that is you telling yourself that you’re not enough. That you’re rejecting yourself in some way. Because if you didn’t care what people thought you have nothing to fear!.

This doesn’t mean to say that you don’t want to do a good job, we always want to do a good job but if our focus of attention is on thoughts about what other people are going to think then we’re not going to show up as our best selves. Instead, we’re going to be too in our heads thinking about the presentation and worst-case scenario rather than simply showing up ready to let our natural qualities emerge.

Many clients often report that they’ve attended courses on a fear of public speaking but how many of these courses focus on slides and decks and preparation? Whilst it can seem at the time that this helps alleviate the fear, it’s a very short-lived relief.

Because what’s still playing is the thought patterns, the synaptic connections, scripts and the unconscious programmes. The habitual conditioned responses in the brain and no amount of public speaking courses are going to change those at the level of the unconscious mind.

The good news is you can overcome a fear of public speaking in the same way that you can overcome a fear of anything because the fear only exists in your mind.

And even if it doesn’t seem like it right now the one thing that you have control over is what you think and what you believe.

At the moment you’re believing your thinking and that’s creating your version of reality when it comes to public speaking.

Hypnosis for public speaking works with the unconscious mind. Hypnosis is a gateway to the unconscious mind and combined with coaching and EFT Tapping Therapy it’s the perfect and powerful combination to create a new reality about your ability to speak in public.

I was sceptical about Hypnotherapy at first, but I was prepared to try anything to address a rapidly growing anxiety about public speaking, even introducing myself in meetings was becoming an issue and my confidence was vanishing. I even found myself getting anxious about the possibility of feeling anxious. My job requires me to speak publicly a lot so being constantly anxious was impacting my whole life now. Sara Maude removed all of the ‘weirdness’ I had previously believed about hypnotherapy from the outset, I started to learn from Sara how our minds work and how they sometimes need some help with programming errors, bugs, capacity and resource management (this is exactly where I think Sara is outstanding – I’m a software guy – everything we talked about was in the context of me and relevant to me based on the time Sara takes to learn about me at every session – as a result I understood everything that she talked about and each session was skilfully personalised for me, the things that I had been blind to suddenly became clear and the solution made perfect sense). I achieved everything I set out to and so much more working with Sara, after only 3 sessions my speaking confidence is at a level I’ve never experience before. Already I am looking forward to every speaking engagement and I’m actually enjoying sharing my story with others now. Sara Maude is an exceptionally talented lady – go see for yourself.

– Keith

You can read the many testimonials of people who’ve learned to enjoy speaking in public which is something that they never thought was possible when they first contacted me!.

If you have had enough of the misery of a fear of public speaking and you are ready to join the many success stories book your free consultation now!

Please follow and like us: