Do things like Public Speaking, interviews, tests, exams, presentations or being the center of attention make you feel nervous?
Fear of public speaking is a form of social phobia, an intense and irrational fear of being judged by others when speaking in front of them, or of making mistakes, or maybe being embarrassed or humiliated in these situations. This can cause a feeling of dread or panic, often resulting in avoidance.
Often sufferers recognise that their fear may be unreasonable but they feel powerless to do anything to change their responses. So the feared situations, such as presentations, wedding speeches, meetings or even one-to-ones, are avoided or else endured with intense anxiety or distress.
In work situations the fear most commonly occurs around formal presentations and meetings. It can then spread out to smaller groups, to conference calls, to informal situations like one-on-one conversations (especially with more senior people) and to things like introducing oneself on a course. It may even spill into social situations with friends and family.
Why is public speaking such a source of anxiety? Here are some of the main possible reasons for this “stage fright”:
- Unfamiliar situation – because most people speak formally to an audience only rarely, the novelty of the situation is a cause of apprehension
- Lack of confidence – stems often from a feeling that others are better speakers than ourselves, or that they know more about the topic in question
- Sense of isolation – the speaker is alone and vulnerable
- Self-consciousness – about our accent, grammar, voice and image generally
- Fear of looking foolish – we may worry that we will forget what we wanted to say, and will stumble over our words, or will say the “wrong” thing
Hypnosis can help with building up your confidence, helping you to remain calm and relaxed. You can learn how to recognise your body’s unique reaction to stress and anxiety and to develop new healthy and positive ways of thinking and feeling. Deep relaxation techniques used in hypnosis help you to focus inwards and start to build your feeling of confidence, calm and self-belief.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy may be able to help you. Contact me for a no obligation chat. I work in Redbourn which is easily accessible from Harpenden, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Luton. Parking near the clinic is free.