Microphone in front of wider audience

Strategies to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Public Speaking Fears Gone Wild

What may have started as a slight case of the “jitters” before making a public presentation, can quickly go from a 10 to a 100 in intensity rating.  And often times the poor person that has this fear doesn’t fully realize it until just before the speech.  Or, even worse, as you step to the podium this overwhelming fear overtakes you.  The audience size seems to be several thousand though it’s only a hundred.  And, suddenly you see 8,000 eyes judging you in a negative way.  Your mind screams, Run like hell.  Run out the side door without saying a word. But, unless you hang in there and suck it up until you’re fearless (hopefully by end of that speech), your subconscious mind will see to it that this pattern is repeated and repeated.


If you were to tell me you had social anxieties and fear of public speaking, I would tell you to cure the public speaking fears first: Being a confident public speaker will do wonders for your business life if properly channeled, and success in speaking will give you a great head start on conquering any social anxieties that might persist.  It, of course, also makes economic sense. But, the main reason for overcoming this fear is not only for professional and social reasons.  It mainly is for yourself and how you perceive yourself.


Download the Energy Therapy Guide for Public Speaking Fears


There are many reasons for your fear: To begin with, you may be self-conscious in front of a group, or even in front of new co-workers or friends of friends.  This is usually listed as the number one reason people feel uncomfortable, dare I say, “Freaked” when giving a presentation.  Rather than thinking of the needs of the audience… the people who took time out of their day to watch you speak.  They want, perhaps even need to hear what you have to say.  You have the opportunity to share your knowledge in front of an audience.  Believe me, the audience does NOT want you to fail in any way.  They want to hear what you have to share.  Just think of giving this same information to your best friend.  Don’t overreact.  Let your enthusiasm for the subject show brightly. Giving your best speech ever is a definite win-win for you and your audience.


Lining up with this concern is the feeling that others are judging you.  Again, wrong thinking.  You are too self-centered in your feelings should you think in this manner.  These people frankly, don’t care about you.  They came to get some benefit out of your presentation or lecture.  So, if you feel they’re judging you, your subconscious can be feeling they want you to fail miserably.  See the mess you’re putting your conscious mind in?  If you fail, everyone loses.  Believe me, they’re on your side.


If you continue in your self-consciousness, it might be a bit of narcissism. You want to influence people with your speaking, but how can you if you’re completely wrapped up in yourself?  No way.  So, turn the big spotlight you’re using on yourself to shine on the audience.  Truly, you don’t matter to the audience.  They do.


If your over-riding concern is the audience will be able to tell you’re nervous: “Oh my heavens, they will assume I don’t know what I’m talking about”, will surely rock through your head.  No, that’s you lying to you. The fact that you appear nervous doesn’t promote those thoughts at all. I speak for almost everyone when I say, if I see a speaker who is obviously nervous, I never relate the nervousness to a lack of professionalism or competency in what they’re speaking on.  I sympathize with them and silently applaud when they get things on the right track.  The audience is on your side.


If your fears are wrapped up in past failures, I’m sure you’ll realize the public speaking anxieties are learned behaviors.  At some attempt in the past, you failed or perceived failure.  As I’ve mentioned before, your subconscious makes up about 88% – 90% of your brain.  According to your subconscious mind you are what you thought you are.  You are perfect.  So, why would the subconscious want you to change?  Impact of that or those failure(s) will be with you until you convince your subconscious that you want to speak publicly easily and effortlessly.  The best way to do this is hypnotherapy.  However, you can help yourself by writing and stating affirmations related to self-confidence and public speaking without fear, twice per day. You can find many sources of affirmations on the internet and if you don’t, call me or email me at my office and I will send you a sample.  It’s free and it’s excellent.


Of course, there are many other reasons for fear of public speaking, but this is a good start.  Lastly, if you are dissatisfied with your speaking abilities, you probably have a legitimate concern.  You really should be dissatisfied if you haven’t rehearsed enough, or have tonal problems, or aren’t familiar enough with the subject to feel comfortable. If you haven’t prepared ahead of time, which includes knowing your audience, don’t expect to succeed.  Nothing dooms public speaking confidence quicker than not being prepared.  On the other hand, nothing gives you as much confidence as being ready.  It’s your choice.



The Benefits of Overcoming These Fears

The benefits of effective public speaking skills are immense.  I can speak from substantial experience in executive management positions with large companies: I can tell you it helps immensely with career advancement.  It’s a great chance to show everyone how creative you can be.  It tells them you have critical thinking skills, leadership abilities, poise, and professionalism.  These are all qualities which are very valuable for the job market, and even for moving up within your current company.  When you speak well, it gives you immediate credibility.  Not only does it help you stand out at work, but I’ve found it to be highly useful in job interviews.  Most of the people who interview you will not have those skills, but can appreciate it when they see them.


As I continue to chant, public speaking will increase your self-confidence. The communications skills you achieve from speaking will undoubtedly improve your communications skills in other areas of your life.  Your personal relationships, social, and work situations will improve immensely.  Remember, public speaking is about communicating ideas.  It teaches you to calmly take an opposing view and to state your ideas in an organized and understandable manner. It also allows you to easily defend your views to others.


In today’s business world of “networking” events, you are constantly meeting people and communicating ideas.  Trying to get attention without being annoying, without fear.  Experience as a speaker gives you a giant foot up in these types of events.  Many people wander around in these events, checking their watch for when they can leave.  Not you.  You’ll be in charge.



Tips for Overcoming Fears and Anxieties

A quick-fix on ridding yourself of speaking-fear-traumas or even social anxieties would be to the downloadable document Energy Therapy (EFT) For You.  Using this document allows you to:

  1. Bring up the memory of a time when you perceived failure in public speaking. Take yourself back to that moment and evaluate how you felt at that point.  How embarrassed were you?  Or, how scared were you?  Or, whatever the negative emotion related to that event… how bad was it on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being no negative emotions at all with that event, 10 would be HUGE negative emotions.
  2. Follow the detailed instructions on the Energy Therapy document.  Continue with this tapping technique until you can bring up that memory, but there are no negative emotions attached.  If you truly get to a “0”, those feelings will not return.
  3. I would also recommend that you download and use the document for all types of emotional and even physical issues.
  4. Even tap just moments before you speak.


A longer, more detailed, but perhaps more comprehensive way of dealing with these fears and the restoration of the self-confidence you want and deserve, is in self-hypnosis:

  1. Do a progressive relaxation induction.  This is relaxing the entire body, part by part, closing your eyes as you do and breathing softly and easily.
  2. Count yourself deeper, by counting down from 5 to 0.
  3. You are going to give yourself suggestions.  The suggestions should be written down ahead of time.  They should always be in the present tense.  For example, “I am a confident speaker”, rather than, “I will become a confident speaker”.  If you use the future tense, your subconscious will always think, “in the future”.  You want it now.
  4. After you relax for a while, be sure to count yourself out of trance even if you feel you’re not that deep.  You will be a state of high suggestibility.  If you watch the news, you’ll think the world is coming to an end.  NOTE: It is, but you don’t want to worry about that now. You have a great speech to give.


Download the Energy Therapy Guide for Public Speaking Fears


Bottom-line:  Hypnotherapy is the best way to get over public speaking fears.  You can do it yourself with much practice and exposure, but hypnotherapy does away with the need for that.  Watch both of these videos of people with significant public speaking responsibilities, but with crippling fears and how they turned it all around in a short period of time.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at my office:     (208) 262-8128, or email me at bill@englehypnotherapy.com.

I would be happy to give you a 30-minute free consultation to talk about the reasons why you might benefit from hypnotherapy for public speaking.

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