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Overcoming a fear of Public Speaking

A fear of public speaking is very common and can affect even the most extroverted person. You aren’t alone…around 25% of people report experiencing this fear.

Unfortunately, its rare that middle-to-senior level people can get away with performing NO public speaking in working lives so overcoming this fear is vital for your career.

It is also be a component in everyday life; from school and university classes to wedding speeches to chatting at local community organisations to talking to a group at a party.

Being a good speaker helps you promote ideas and move people to action, form strong collaborations and grow your reputation and business. Nervousness is normal, but if anxiety is overwhelming you when you even think about public speaking this could have a more profound effect on your career and life.

Glossophobia is the scientific name for fear of public speaking. It appears when you are performing or are expected to perform a presentation or speech in front of other people…even a small group.

Even a mild form can have a detrimental effect; It can prevent you sharing your ideas or presenting solutions; this will in turn impact how you grown personally and professionally.

The fear is caused by a number of contributing factors:

  1. Physiology – when confronted by a threat, our bodies prepare for battle; it is the arousal of the autonomic nervous system. People who are predisposed to feeling anxious will likely find performing in public more challenging, but for some, anxiety is limited to public speaking situations

  2. Thoughts - The fear can arise when people overestimate the stakes of communicating to others; the speaking event is a potential threat to their credibility, image and chance to reach an audience. Negative views (eg. “I am not good at speaking”) also raise anxiety and augment the fear.

  3. Situations - there are certain situations that are likely to make you more anxious including lack of experience, degree of evaluation, status difference, new ideas and new audiences

  4. Skills – Confidence alone does not translate to effective public speaking, People who work on their skills instead of relying on natural talent are the speakers who stand out the most; increased competence leads to increased confidence!

Do you avoid opportunities for public speaking at all costs? Are you being held back in your career because the thought of speaking in front of a room terrifies you? Perhaps you have been asked to speak at a wedding or a birthday and just cannot imagine speaking in front of others?

At Jarvis Hypnotherapy, we can help! The idea is to take away the negative thoughts and feelings that you associate with public speaking. We will guide you through the hypnotherapy process in a comfortable environment and give you tools to manage your fears in the long term.

Contact us today for an obligation free chat.

In the meantime, here are some more general tips for before your public speaking gig.

  1. Get Experience - Seek out opportunities to talk in groups and start small

  2. Prepare - know your material and choose a topic you care about: the better prepared you are, the more confidant you will be.

  3. Practise – record yourself, practise in front of a mirror then perform for friends and family. They will help you.

  4. Exercise – this will get the blood flowing and send oxygen to your brain; take a walk or do some stretching.

  5. Breathe - try a few long breaths will help before you go on stage, or even while you are rehearsing. The idea is to reduce stress and build confidence.

  6. Laugh - Use humour; injecting a funny anecdote will grab your audience’s attention and help to relax you as a speaker by making people laugh.

  7. Your audience is your friend – they want you to do well – they want to enjoy the presentation and they don’t want to be bored.


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