Battling the Fear of Public Speaking – a Personal Journey

The Fear Of Public Speaking is something I have battled myself for many years. I used to be terrified of talking in groups or speaking up in class or groups when I was at school and beyond into my university days. I can remember the intense fear, almost like I was going to die type feeling. It really was a scary experience for me back in my early years. My fear of public speaking stems from my bullying when I was younger, and the times when I was teased or made fun off when I was speaking in front of the class.
The very thought when I was younger of speaking in front of groups or doing any kind of school play or performance was something I felt I could never overcome. In fact in those days I didn’t even know why I had it, or what was causing it.

You see, we have been programmed by past experiences, whether you were like me bullied badly at school; Or whether something else caused your fear. Fear of public speaking can be triggered by many different things and cause you to feel a whole range of feelings from intense fear, to shaking on stage or even just freezing on stage when you’re doing your presentation. Sometimes these fears are so powerful and strong it can seem like a fighting battle trying to make sense of what is going on. The thing is though these thoughts are just out of control beliefs that we have about what is happening in our world.

When I was doing a recital in front of an audience, I was terrified of what people would think, and worried that they might laugh and make fun of me. Those thoughts were just me worrying about something that I had no control over. It seems funny how we get so worried about things we can’t control, and this can build up high levels of anxiety and fear within us. The only person you can control, and the only person that really matters is you, that’s you and your world. So, if someone does laugh or joke when you’re doing a recital, or presentation, if you are feeling confident and secure within yourself, then it doesn’t matter what anyone says or does, because your fine either way. The only time something can bother you or affect you, is when you let that event affect you.

I can remember how I went from nervous speaker and a shaking wreck in my early days of speaking in school and doing plays, to one who was a confident teacher teaching English as a foreign language, and working in Italy and Poland. The thing is sometimes you need to confront those fears, and tackle them head on. This helps you gain confidence and strength in who you are, and your abilities. I can remember when I used to teach unemployed people how to get back to work, and the first thing I did was pretend to be confident and in charge of the class. I learnt a lot about body language and how we use that to send an invisible signal to the other person, which they pick up, and this tells them whether they can mess us around, or whether we are weak and not in control. How you walk and talk, has a lot to do with your own beliefs about yourself.
How you think and feel determines how other people react round you. Have you ever noticed someone who is always ill and always moaning? Nothing ever seems to go right for those people, it seems like their life is so miserable. The exact same thing is true for the fear of public speaking. If we project to people that we are scared or in fear, people pick that up, and this is one way how bullies pick their victims, they pick people who are weaker than themselves.

When we need to do a presentation for work, or we are trying to sell our services to a group of people, it is really important we give off the right signs and feelings to the other people. The happier you are within yourself, the more your natural personality shines through. It’s this natural personality and character that people resonate with, and this helps people trust you. If we are honest and generally feeling a sense of giving something of value to another person when we are speaking in public then the audience feels this, and is more likely to listen to us, and less likely to object and be difficult with us.

Now when I need to talk in front of groups my heart beat barely raises, this is because I’ve managed to use hypnosis to relax me. Relaxation and breathing are key things for us, as they help to calm us down quickly and easily, allowing us to enjoy the moment. A really good technique when you are speaking is to enjoy it, enjoy the sound of your voice. You can pretend that you are a famous celebrity giving an important and meaningful talk, but remember don’t get arrogant or cocky as that will make the audience not want to listen to you.

In some of the work I do, I particularly like to use aspects of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and combine this with Hypnotherapy. Both techniques can help to rewire your brain and your responses, these techniques help us to breakthrough our own fears and insecurities and create beliefs that help us achieve our goals. In NLP we can change our mental picture and imagery, and create a better picture that feels good and empowering to us.

The important thing is momentum. The more you practice the art of letting go of those fears around public speaking, the more you find you can deliver a really top class presentation, because you will have run through the event in your mind so many times and felt so good about performing your presentation, it all becomes automatic, and instead of being fearful and scared, you have a feeling of confidence and peace about you. When you sign up for Skype or Face to Face sessions with me, I can show you how you can get to that place of peace and calmness and how to take that feeling into all aspects of your life., and what’s that worth??

Thank you for reading and be sure to leave comments below.

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