Public Speaking

Fear of Public Speaking

The fear of public speaking is known as glossophobia.It is the second most prevalent phobia in the UK and many people are genuinely terrified. Women are twice as likely as men to experience glossophobia.

Symptoms of glossophobia range from knots in the stomach, sweaty palms, dry mouth, shaky legs and tightness in the throat. In extreme cases, sufferers experience nausea, panic attacks and excessive anxiety. Glossophobics will therefore go to great lengths to avoid speaking in public.

Most of these symptoms are due to the increase in adrenaline produced by our bodies because we are experiencing thflight-or-fight reaction. This primitive response still exists in us despite the fact that we no longer have to fight or run away from wild animals. The concerns we have before a speech or presentation – worrying what people will think of us, worrying that we will stumble over the words or forget what to say – are enough to trigger the natural or instinctive reaction to run away.

Hypnotherapy and NLP are effective ways to help you learn to control these feelings and conquer the urge to flee the perceived danger. Surprisingly you may even begin to enjoy the process of public speaking.

An article in Forbes (2011) said: ‘Make adrenaline your friend because it makes your body and brain work better’. Once you get used to controlling your adrenaline, you can then make sure you always have enough to give your speech or performance that extra boost, but not so much that it makes you feel like running away