Hypnotherapy and Fear of Public Speaking
“There are only two types of speakers in the world: 1) the nervous, and 2) liars.” - Mark Twain
According to some experts, people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. It’s surprising that otherwise well-spoken people might secretly be terrified of standing in front of an audience. In fact, even some professional actors, such as television or movie actors who rarely perform in front of a live audience, harbor this fear.
What causes your fear of public speaking?
Unlike some phobias, fear of public speaking is easy to understand. Standing in front of others has the potential to make any speaker feel vulnerable. The speaker, after all, can often see the faces of the audience and knows almost immediately whether the speech is going well and if the audience is interested. Moreover, the speaker is obliged to continue speaking until the speech is done, giving the speaker a trapped feeling if the event isn't going well. Sometimes, audience reactions can be hard to predict. For example, if the audience had just come in from bad weather just before, or if a previous speaker negatively turned the mood of the crowd. That feeling of unpredictability makes it hard for some speakers to create rapport. And, because public speaking is live, there’s extra pressure. Unlike video, there are no second takes. The pressure is on to get the speech right and to get it right the first time.
What age do you develop a fear of public speaking?
Usually, clients discover this fear sometime in middle school or high school when they were first required to speak in front of their class. Students spend year after year staring at the teacher and the blackboard but rarely take a position looking back at the class. Suddenly, the novice speaker sees what teachers have seen for years – squirming bodies, kids making faces, others passing notes. Being given no preparation for what to expect, they take the reaction personally, especially if a teacher or peers are unkind. If this negative experience is repeated throughout school, the trauma might become permanent.