Updated: May 3
Do your palms start sweating at just the mention of the words "public speaking"?
When you get up in front of an audience, does your heart rate soar and your breathing quicken? And when your turn to speak finally comes, are you sure everyone in the room (or Zoom) can hear your voice quaver and crack?
You're not alone. It's estimated that over 77% of Americans have some level of fear of public speaking. This has less to do with our natural confidence than it does with instincts and biology.
Like most sentient beings, we are hard wired to be wary of predators. And there's nothing that sets those alarm bells ringing louder than a room full of eyes locked on to us. This survival instinct is so fine tuned that we can even sense when someone (or some animal) is staring at us from behind.
So it's no wonder that public speaking can fill us with dread. If it were just a matter of avoiding situations that involved getting up in front of an audience, it wouldn't be such a problem. But the reality is, public speaking is something most of us will have to engage in at some point or another. Whether you're a project leader at a tech company or a restaurant manager who's expected to lead daily pre-shifts, there will come a time when-afraid or not-you've just got to get up and speak.
The good news is, there are lots of ways we can eliminate the fear and even transform it into excitement and enjoyment.
How Hypnosis Can Help With Public Speaking
Fear is a response that is governed by both the subconscious mind and the body's limbic system which includes the amygdala. These parts of ourselves have nothing to do with logic and reasoning. It's all about emotion and adrenaline. As a result we can't think our way out of fear.
Somebody once said that if you want to solve a problem you have to work with the part of yourself that created it.
While in hypnosis, we are able to have greater access the subconscious mind. The neocortex, or thinking brain, slows down while the limbic system-the emotional brain-becomes more active.
In this state of hypnosis we can in effect retrain our minds and bodies to respond in more beneficial and helpful ways to situations that used to cause so much trouble. In the case of public speaking, we can imagine and rehearse feeling confident and powerful while speaking in front of an audience. We then "anchor" those positive resource states so that when we are actually in that situation in the future, the new response of confidence and self-assurance fires up. Fear becomes a thing of the past.
And who knows? Public speaking might even become our new favorite activity.
If you'd like to learn more about hypnosis for public speaking, please visit my website at www.truenaturehypnotherapy.com to schedule a free strategy and planning session.