Public speaking nerves

Public speaking is probably the most common ‘fear’ reported by people.

We are all aware of stage-fright, where although the speaker may know perfectly well what to say, they are, on the day, consumed by intense nervousness and may forget their lines or be incapable of uttering anything.

In those not used to addressing a group, there may be the fear of appearing tongue-tied and stupid, not being able to put sentences together, sounding nervous, stammering, blushing, and so on. The condition is exacerbated if the individual is naturally anxious.

For these people, ‘cued’ relaxation (suggested during hypnosis) may be employed – so that, say, as soon they stand up to speak, they will feel relaxed, confident, and be clear-thinking. There can be a number of different cue points. The technique of ‘rehearsing’ in hypnosis, can work well too. The client is encouraged to imagine the whole event beforehand, and react to different situations that might occur.

The very anticipation of giving a speech – say at a wedding reception – can lead to crippling anxiety in some. Indeed, an anxiety-avoidance behaviour in a few is to get drunk and behave foolishly. ‘It’s not me, it’s the drink’.

Sometimes, the cause of the problem goes back to an event long ago – say to a school performance that went embarrassingly wrong (in their young mind) – leaving the child feeling a failure, and put off the idea of public-speaking ever again. Or, perhaps getting lost as a small child resulted in a stutter – which in adulthood only manifested when giving a speech.

In modern advanced hypnotherapy the origin is discovered by communication with the unconscious. After the release of negative emotions, the previously unhappy child (a sub-personality) is ‘reintegrated’ – now happy and smiling – and immediately ‘grows up’ into the adult, and disappears. Effectively, the stuck-in-time child had been taking-over the emotions and thoughts of the adult, in any speech-giving situation. Next, the habit that has been acquired is removed by suitable suggestions. Self-hypnosis can be taught to the client in order to reinforce the suggestions.

The fear can be as much for giving a presentation at work, as for speaking to a large formal group at a social celebration. The problem can thus be a major one for some people in the workplace. Hypnotherapy may be an effective treatment for public speaking nerves.


We offer treatment for public speaking nerves in Egham, Surrey, London, etc.