Public speaking

Just the words “public speaking” can cause instant terror in some of us. In fact, many people have a real fear of talking in public and some research suggests it’s one of the most common fears in the UK. Whether it’s making a speech at a wedding, giving a professional presentation or speaking in front of a small number of people, public speaking can cause our body to shake, our mind to go blank and our stomach to feel physically sick. Everything in our mind may be saying “run away now”, but public speaking requires us to deliver our speech fluently in spite of all these thoughts and feelings – which often seems impossible.

Where does fear come from?

What is it about standing up and talking in front of other people that causes so much anxiety? The fear of public speaking is a form of social phobia, and our natural ‘fight or flight’ response takes over us – making us believe we’re in some kind of danger that we need to escape from. This unconscious response can cause our throats to feel tight, our heart to beat faster, sweating, breathlessness, sickness and a number of other symptoms.

The good news however, is that we have the ability to re-educate our mind to no longer see public speaking as a threat, and therefore create more appropriate responses for those situations that require us to talk in public.

Do you have a fear of public speaking?

Some people may only suffer mildly with one or two symptoms, while others may suffer extreme anxiety and have a number of symptoms. Symptoms include:

  • inability to speak
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • shaky voice
  • nausea
  • rapid breathing
  • blushing
  • mental blocks
  • tight chest
  • feeling nervous
  • feeling embarrassed
  • panicky.

Where does your fear of public speaking come from?

There are a number of reasons why individuals may suffer from a fear of public speaking, including:

  • lack of confidence/self-esteem
  • self-consciousness
  • fear about making a mistake, saying the wrong thing or falling over
  • fear of being the centre of attention
  • being in an unfamiliar situation
  • fear of being laughed at
  • fear of forgetting what to say
  • fear of being judged.

Treatment for fear of public speaking

Hypnosis has been found to be extremely successful for those suffering with a fear of public speaking. It can build confidence levels and allow you to remain calm and relaxed, while developing new positive ways of thinking and feeling. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy aims to seek out the root cause of the anxiety by accessing the part of your mind that is triggering the fear and help you to change how it responds.


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