A Fear Of Public Speaking

The stage beckons, do you have a fear of public speaking.

I no longer suffer with a fear of public speaking.

I remember doing the reading in assembly at school in front of 300 boys who didn't want to be there. About sixty of them were in the same year as me and all of them would take the mickey out of me when I messed it up.

I was so scared that I had to focus attention on just standing up, my knees buckled on stepping up to the lecturn. The awe of the occasion made it hard to even start thinking and the dry mouth stopped my mouth projecting the words that didn't want to form in my voice box.

Fond memory? I think NOT. But I did survive it.

Since then I found several ways to deal with my public speaking demons. It's no longer a problem, but it could be. 

Public speaking is one of those things that many people find hard. They all have some things in common. Having a fear of public speaking, suffering from public speaking anxiety and feeling presentation anxiety are things that those same people do so very well.

The Problem:

It sounds so simple, stand up and talk while people listen. So why does it trigger such anxiety and sometimes terror in so many people?

The problem takes many forms: fearing the bad opinion of the audience, feeling like a fraud, imposter syndrome, plain terror, obsessively worrying before the event and so many other variations.

It's your mind keeping you safe, in a mental sense, if you're scared enough you won't do it.

That act of imagination is something that people are doing to themselves. Imagine a group of people taunting you for your incompetence, now imagine ten times that many people and you start to get a picture of the sorts of thing that some people do to themselves.

That fear of public speaking is something that people feel stuck with. Something that they feel like they have to put up with or continually run away from.

What Can Be Done?

The first thing is to acknowledge the situation you find yourself in. Presentation anxiety is not stupid and it's not weakness. It is just what it is. Your mind thinks it's there to keep you safe from torment.

You can find ways to reduce the negative self talk that's related to dealing with the awe of the occasion. You can learn the truth about feeling like a fraud.

You can learn to stop your imagination going down the rabit hole as you can just hear the audience saying "Who do you think you are pretending to be an expert?"

You can build up confidence so that you can project the real you.

I have found that many people don't like idea of "bigging themselves up", it feels like boasting and it doesn't fit with who they are. But one persons truths are another persons boasting, and it helps to be aware of the truths about yourself.

Everyone has different experiences and triggers.

Hypnosis can help. Eye movement therapy can help. You can only change if you do something.

To find out if what I do to help a fear of public speaking / performance anxiety is what you want, and if I'm the right person for you then you can call or text me.

Peter French

Husband, Dad, Hypnotherapist, Software Engineer, Trainee guitar maker, Poor musician, Awful singer, Occasional writer.