How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking (and how you can, too)

Woman lying on sofa reading laptop

What Are Common Public Speaking Fears & Symptoms, Statistics, & Reasons

While everyone is different, here are some common fears of public speaking.

Common public speaking fears include:

  • Fear of failure or embarrassment
  • Fear of the unexpected or something going wrong during your speech
  • Fear of forgetting what you were talking about
  • Imposter syndrome, or a feeling of self-doubt and the fear that you are not as competent as you are perceived to be
  • Being judged harshly
  • Fear of being watched, being in the spotlight, and having all eyes on you

How to overcome fear of public speaking with hypnosis

What causes fear of public speaking? Possible reasons include:

Childhood trauma (This could be specifically related to public speaking, for example, a bad experience speaking in class or being bullied, or it could be something seemingly unrelated.)
Past experience as an adult (For example, a presentation gone wrong, or your mind going blank during a meeting at work.)
Low self-esteem
Lack of experience
Sharing new ideas or presenting in front of a new audience that you aren’t comfortable or familiar with

Common symptoms of fear of public speaking include:

  • Pressure in chest and/or heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath and/or quivering voice
  • Shaking hands and/or sweaty palms
  • Nausea
  • Mind going blank or racing thoughts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fear of Public Speaking Statistics

According to communications expert Nick Morgan in Forbes, 80% of people suffer from a fear of public speaking, with 10% of people experiencing extreme panic or terror. (He also points out that 10% of the population genuinely enjoy speaking in public!)

Interestingly, many celebrities and famous figures also share this fear, including Adele, Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, Julia Roberts, Abraham Lincoln, and Sir Richard Branson (quite  a diverse list).

woman presenting to a group of colleagues

Hypnosis For Fear of Public Speaking

How Hypnosis Works

Anyone who’s enjoyed watching a movie (vs. analytically thinking about the technology of how the movie is projected onto your television or movie screen), reached the zone state when running or working out, or lulled a child to sleep with a bedtime story, has used similar techniques to those used in Hypnosis.

Hypnosis is a state of focused awareness and a way to pay attention to your own sources of internal guidance and resources (which of course, could be extremely helpful when giving a work presentation). You can discover more ways Hypnosis can help, what to expect, how to maximize its positive effects, and misconceptions about Hypnosis.

Can Hypnosis Cure Fear of Public Speaking?

Yes, Hypnosis for fear of public speaking is definitely worth trying to see if you personally find it helpful in managing anxiety so you can overcome this once and for all. Potential Benefits include:

  • Feeling more confident and self-assured. (Confidence is one of my top client requests.)
  • Calming the mind so you can think clearly and speak articulately.
  • Shifting from being hyperaware of yourself to focusing on your audience, topic, and how the information you’re providing can help them.
  • Accessing your intuition and inner resources. (I especially love how this can help when it comes to the Question & Answer portion of giving a talk.)
  • Alleviating the physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, pressure in the chest, or shakiness in the voice or hands.
  • Feeling more peaceful and relaxed in general, as well as a powerful way to reset and release stress.

Bonus: Taking It To The Next Level

Once you’ve overcome the fear of public speaking, Hypnosis can help you with peak performance. Many professional athletes use Hypnosis for this purpose. Why not take it to the next level–get ready!

woman presenting with flipchart

What Should I Expect

Your Hypnosis sessions will be personalized just for you. Several clients might have the same exact issue, such as public speaking, yet each person will have different ways of doing and experiencing the problem and will discover different resources to help them get over this.

Self-Hypnosis Techniques can be tailored to your learning style, preferences, and individual needs, so you can take control and feel empowered to do and be your best.

Bonus: Pre-Performance Protocol

Many people like to take the Self-Hypnosis tools and techniques and create a “pre-performance protocol” to help alleviate anxiety and get in the right mindset and as a sort of “warm-up” before a talk or presentation. There are so many ways you can overcome this.

How Many Sessions Does It Take

While everyone changes differently (which is an interesting thing to think about), 3-6 sessions is average (with some people changing faster and others needing a little more time). As with any kind of healing, chronic issues tend to take longer to balance than acute issues.

Hypnosis doesn’t wear off but secondary gain can be a factor. Occasionally, clients will come back after they’ve overcome fear of public speaking and book a refresher session or sessions to reinforce and integrate the changes they’ve made or to address new triggers that may have arisen related to the original issue.

First-Hand Accounts of Hypnosis for Public Speaking

Here are a few examples from clients who found Hypnosis for fear of public speaking helpful with a wedding speech, a work presentation, and salary negotiations.

Wedding Speech

Wanted to let you know my wedding weekend went splendidly!  With your help, I was able to truly savor and enjoy every moment with minimal anxiety or worry.  

When I had to speak, everything flowed effortlessly and naturally.  A couple people came up afterwards and told me I sounded like a politician and absolutely nailed the speech.  Anyway, I don’t mean to boast or anything, just wanted to let you know your work was so meaningful to me! –Ryan R.

Big Presentation at Work

I wanted to let you know that my big presentation went incredibly well. More importantly, I was able to manage my anxiety throughout the day, leading up to the moment I needed to present.

In particular, you asked for my subconscious mind to choose a specific way to make me successful in the situation. What came to mind was to “choose confidence,” regardless of how I was feeling in advance of the meeting. This became a bit of a mantra for me throughout the day–and is something I suspect will stick with me for some time.

I also had fun reminding myself to leave my inner critic tucked into bed at home. The tools from our sessions helped me ride along with any anxiety, accept it, and keep it at a manageable level. Thank you. –J.L.

Confidence With Work Negotiations

I just wanted to let you know that this week I went into my agency to speak with them, and it was easier than ever! I felt confident and relaxed without having to try too hard! I’ve been practicing my self-hypnosis techniques. I really feel that our sessions helped me. —T.E.

My Personal Experience with Hypnosis

Several years ago, I received an award for a book of my poems, and as part of it, was required to participate in the awards ceremony poetry reading.

You think this would be an exciting, happy occasion, yet every time I even thought about the reading, I would have a feeling of deep dread in my stomach and I would literally want to throw up. Maybe you can relate?

How did I overcome fear of public speaking?

I used Hypnosis to change my mind for the better. In particular, I found one of the Self-Hypnosis techniques especially helpful: EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping. (It’s actually one of my favorite tools to show clients for any issues because it can be so effective.)

Every time I thought about the upcoming reading and felt that deep dread in the pit of my stomach, I did a round or two of EFT. I tapped on everything I was worried about–fear of being judged, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of freezing up, fear of stumbling over my words.

Finally, it was the night of the reading and it was my turn. I approached the podium, adjusted the microphone, and looked at the audience. Then the weirdest thing happened.

I realized I was savoring and enjoying the moment: I saw the well-known poet who had selected my work for the award, noticed some friends and family sitting in the back of the room, saw one of my favorite professors. I felt incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and was actually enjoying getting to read my poems and share my work.

It was bizarre–I had a thought that perhaps I wasn’t in the right body, as this was such an unusual feeling for me!

(I love hearing when clients share how they feel this similar strange and positive sensation after using Hypnosis to help with a particular issue.)

Rather than racing through the reading, I read through my poems in an expressive and animated way. I felt like I was really able to give it my all, and that I did my best. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would actually enjoy the reading.

man with microphone and screen giving a presentation

A Self-Hypnosis Technique For Fear of Public Speaking

EFT involves tapping on powerful acupressure points while repeating a phrase about what you want to clear or release. It’s based on the premise that every emotional upset causes an imbalance in the body. EFT is able to quickly reduce the emotional charge and reset the nervous system, allowing the body to rebalance and promote healing.

Now this is something you can do on your own (EFT is easy to learn), though sometimes people prefer to learn EFT as one of the Self-Hypnosis techniques during their sessions.

In this way, you can work though the specific concerns and things that trigger you and then clear them with the support of a Hypnotist. Additionally, you’ll learn other Self-Hypnosis techniques you can use to become a successful and eloquent public speaker.

Learn more about what EFT is and how it works, tips to maximize its effectiveness, and additional books and resources.

Additional Support & Resources for Overcoming Glossophobia

I think the most important takeaway is that the fear of public speaking is something you can address and successfully overcome. Hypnosis can help you change your mind for the better, readjust your focus so you can focus on everything that’s not the problem, and perhaps even enjoy sharing what you know with others in a beneficial way. Here’s to your success!

Need support? Schedule a virtual Hypnosis session no matter where you live in the world.

Or join a virtual Soul Healing Event or Soul Healing Recordings around the most popular themes and client requests.

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Burned out by an all-consuming job, Deborah Flanagan found balance and peace through the healing arts — and now she's helping others do the same.

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