It has been estimated that 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety or nervousness when speaking in public.
Speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking or speaking in general, it’s referred to as ‘Glossophobia’ which comes from the Greek γλῶσσα glōssa, meaning ‘tongue’ and φόβος phobos, meaning ‘fear’ or ‘dread’.
What’s happening in the body?
As you are about to do something which your mind perceives to be a frightening thing, your sympathetic system is producing vast amounts of adrenaline ready for you to go into the fight or flight mode. Too much adrenaline is a problem but a little will give you the edge to deliver a great performance. To some people this can be a small speech at a wedding or a speech to a thousand at a high profile business conference. It is still the same feeling that arises under both circumstances.
Some of the symptoms can include:
- Acute hearing
- Increased heart rate
- Sweaty hands
- Increased blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Increased perspiration
- Increased oxygen intake
- Dry mouth
Here’s an Interesting situation that came up at TBC Private Practice recently.
David* came to see us as he was struggling to make any headway in containing his nerves regarding his new job, as a part of which, he had to address a group of colleagues at work on a monthly basis. Days before such events he would have sleepless nights, breakout in a sweat at the very thought of them, he would get butterflies in his stomach and sometimes be physically sick. As the time approached for his first monthly speech his knees felt like they were giving way and his mouth dried up. Then he began to stutter which is something he had never experienced before. In fact, his while delivery process could have been classed as a disaster and he was left feeling like a failure. He decided it was time for help and came to see us.
On his next monthly speech to his colleagues they were waiting for the next disaster to happen, in fact it had become bit of a joke round the company where he worked. How astonished were they when David not only stood up to speak in a confident way, but that he was decidedly ‘in charge’ of the situation and seemed to be enjoying it! His whole persona had changed from the whimpy mouse to the mighty lion! He was able to give a great speech, confidently and controlled and even cracked the odd joke.
He was getting decidedly laid back about it all and found his colleagues were congratulating him for great speeches after his presentations. He was able to concentrate on what he was saying and doing easily and effortlessly.
By teaching David some NLP techniques (Neuro Lingustic Programming), changing his body language and some giving him some personal coaching we built up David’s confidence to a level where he became an excellent communicator, in fact he went on to become a public speaker where people actually paid him to go and make speeches!
At TBC Private Practice we can teach you how to be more confident, in control and be that Lion! Do yourself a favour and take the first step to becoming a more successful confident speaker, not only in public but social areas of life too. For an appointment with us phone 01363 775935.
*The name has been changed to protect client confidentiality.