Severe fear of public speaking

What is fear of public speaking and how does it occur?

Severe fear of public speaking caused by a painful presentation experience. It really doesn’t matter what the exact situation was. A public black-out, hyperventilation, an audience that walks out or unbearable tension which forces the presentation to be cut short? At the core, it’s all the same: an intense feeling of ‘it’s all down to you’. Feeling isolated and helpless, with no safe security.

Many people are ‘traumatised’ in the area of public speaking. Most of them don’t talk about it, because they’re ashamed. But we all know that lonely experience, when you’re checked out and judged, when you can’t seem to find the right words, when your voice is unsteady, your body is not confident and your facial expression is mask-like. Feeling let down by your body and mind makes you deeply distrust your ‘self’. On an unconscious level, we all experienced that during our first speech at school, and now this history may still be repeating itself during uncomfortable introduction rounds at business meetings.

How do you overcome that?

Liberation starts with letting yourself be helped. A Speaking Happens presentation coach will start by helping you to acknowledge and accept that occurrence. Then you’ll create a new, safe public speaking experience, together with your coach. And keep doing so until the fear is replaced by confidence.

The approach consists of a combination of working methods. Positive reliving of the situation by means of visualisation and comprehending the convictions about self that arose from that situation. A completely new approach to preparation and structure will enable you to speak naturally and spontaneously. It’s a new public speaking experience: one which involves speaking effortlessly and naturally. Without thinking about it: effortless, relaxed and liberated.

In fact, dealing with your fear of public speaking is a transformation from ‘surviving in the spotlight’ to ‘being animated in the spotlight’.

This is a good example of an occurrence that can cause fear of public speaking.

You can see how the body takes over as the tension and insecurity become too great. Watch how his leg swings up wondrously while greeting the host. Then his posture becomes unnaturally skewed and his legs look like they’re bracing themselves for something. The discomfort becomes so severe in the end, that he has to move out of the spotlight in search of safety. We now know that he felt anything but safe, when he reached the wings and realised that he had just fled the stage in front of a large audience and a great many international cameras. Public speaking trauma!