How to conquer your fear of public speaking
Like many of my clients, you may have spent time wondering how to conquer your fear of public speaking. You may have already tried CBT (Cognitive behaviour Therapy) or been on a presentation skills course, but when these didn’t work, you’ve managed to find a way of coping with your fear of public speaking.
Like a lot of people, you might have adopted an avoidance strategy and as you’ve worked your way up the corporate ladder have somehow managed to get away without having to do much public speaking or presentations.
But now you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been promoted into a position that involves a lot of public speaking.
This new job role involves you delivering presentations, leading team meetings, attending strategy review days, pitching to new clients, giving company updates or having to provide the Exec Team with an overview of what’s happening in your department or your area of the business.
And because of the nature of your role, you can no longer hide!.
If you resonate with this, trust me when I say you are not alone.
Why do people have a fear of public speaking?
I’ve worked with plenty of commercial directors, marketing directors, finance directors and sales directors who, throughout their careers, found a way to cope with their fear of public speaking, even if this meant spending weeks thinking about a future presentation, so trust me a fear of public speaking is very common.
The reasons we fear public speaking vary, and it may surprise you to know it’s not actually the public speaking part that creates the fear. Instead, it’s what we think is going to happen when we speak.
- What if my voice starts wobbling?
- What if I embarrass myself?
- What if people judge me?
- What if I start blushing?
- What if I forget my words?
- What if I get anxious?
- What if I can’t answer a question?
It’s a LOT of what-if thinking, which is actually like hypnotising yourself! Your mind doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not, so all this what-if thinking is teaching your mind and body what to expect, which is the opposite of what you want to expect.
The what-if thinking is created based on past experiences, and many people who have a fear of public speaking have experienced a level of trauma about a previous time when things didn’t go to plan and they went bright red, their voice started wobbling and they felt anxiety take a grip of their physical body. The memories of these events, if not processed through the brain hold trauma. We label public speaking as life-threatening, so each time we think about speaking in public, we trigger the freeze, fight-or-flight response.
One commercial director shared with me that he realised he could no longer carry on with his fear of public speaking because it was now impacting his marriage. In his new role, he was ruminating for months in advance about upcoming presentations. Three months later his relationship with public speaking had completely transformed and he saved his marriage. He had a series of memories which still felt very ‘real and live’ in his mind, and he was protecting future events based on those memories. This is where hypnotherapy for public speaking can work its magic. not only can hypnotherapy create a new mindset for you, but it can also process past traumas held in the unconscious mind.
Rebecca is another great example. Rebecca is a marketing director who’d been promoted and now reported to the CEO. Rebecca had to provide the CEO with weekly updates together with being the lead on major account presentations. Rebecca had worked with an executive coach to tackle her fear of public speaking, only to be told ‘Imagine everyone naked’. As you can imagine, that didn’t have the result she was looking for! Rebecca came across me when I had been delivering management mental health training for her organisation. She heard me talking about the different ways we can overcome anxiety and she saw a spark of hope.
Rebecca shared that she couldn’t keep going to pieces about presenting in public, especially now she reported to the CEO. But until she had heard me speak at her company, she thought she was going to simply have to find a way to cope. After working with Rebecca her confidence to deliver presentations and updates was at a level she had never experienced before. I used a combination of hypnotherapy for public speaking, coaching and EFT Tapping therapy to completely dissolve her fears and pull out and transform her limiting beliefs.
“Sara delivered outstanding leadership coaching around presentation skills which have significantly improved my ability to deliver. She is empathetic, knowledgeable, and has an incredible ability to get to the root of an issue or challenge. She is able to offer a broad range of different approaches tailored to the individual and the team and she’s an absolute pleasure to work with. Thank you Sara!” – Rebecca
What’s the fear of public speaking costing you?
The one thing all my clients had in common was the fact that the higher up the career ladder they climbed, the greater their fear of public speaking became.
Some clients who had been looking for help to overcome the fear had often gone down other routes initially. Some had tried CBT or counselling. Others had been on a presentation skills course to try and ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.
When these approaches had very little to no impact clients spoke of how they were on the verge of leaving their current job because their fear of public speaking was so intense.
They were therefore over the moon when having confided in a friend or colleague how much they were struggling, the recommendation to have hypnotherapy for a fear of public speaking was given to them.
And maybe that’s how you have landed on my website! So if you are wondering if this is the perfect moment for you to tackle your fear of public speaking I invite you to reflect on the following;
- Is the fear of public speaking costing you your career?
- Are you spending vast amounts of time and energy ruminating about upcoming presentations?
- Do you have sleepless nights before having to speak in public?
- Is the fear of public speaking causing you to have panic attacks?
- How much is your performance at work being impacted by the fear of public speaking?
- Is the fear of public speaking costing you the opportunity to advance in your career?
- How much is the fear of public speaking eating away at your overall self-confidence?
- Are you thinking about leaving your current job because of your fear of public speaking?
If you resonate with any of the above this is the perfect moment to take action!
You can join the many success stories of people who have overcome the fear of public speaking and have gone on to enjoy giving presentations, talks, lectures, and keynote speeches. And even feel comfortable and at ease with question-and-answer sessions!
Take the next step to a happier confident you and contact me now to arrange your complimentary consultation.
Sara Maude is an Edinburgh Hypnotherapist, Solution-Focused Psychotherapist, EFT Practitioner, Transformational Coach and International Wellbeing Trainer providing in-person and online sessions. Sara provides problem-free therapy which goes deep into the heart of the unconscious mind to create powerful lasting change.