Do you get panicky at the very thought of standing up in front of people and doing a speech or presentation?
This is known as glossophobia, and it’s a phobia that most hypnotherapists have seen a lot of.
Some degree of anxiety is perfectly normal and people who enjoy public speaking can channel this into their performance.
For some people, a few different factors can combine to encourage this anxiety to feel out of control - to the extent that it can dictate to you and force you into awkward situations to avoid getting involved in public speaking at all.
If this is happening to you, it can feel as though there is no way that you can overcome your fears and ever feel comfortable and confident enough to embrace public speaking.
Here’s the good news: like pretty much every phobia, hypnotherapy has a very good success rate in breaking down the triggers and turning the tables on them so that you can overcome your fears.
Here’s how it works!
Symptoms of Glossophobia
Some of the common symptoms include:
- Actively avoiding situations where you may be called on or required to speak in front of a crowd or group of people
- Feeling panicky when faced with the prospect of public speaking (rather than just mildly nervous)
- Feeling sick
- Dry mouth
- Palpitations and a more rapid heartbeat
The Role of the Unconscious Mind
If you suffer from glossophobia, you’re not in control of the symptoms on a conscious level and this is why trying to relax isn’t likely to have much effect in calming you.
The symptoms you feel are actually affecting you on an unconscious level.
The root cause is often a false belief about how the situation will unfold, and this can be linked to something that has happened in the past.
When you speak publicly, you know that the attention of pretty much everyone in the room will be focused on you and that can be daunting, to say the least!
This can make you feel as though you’ll be judged on what you say and how you come across, and you may also worry that you won’t be able to deliver a good performance and will let yourself down or make a fool of yourself.
If you have made mistakes or had bad experiences in general with public speaking in the past, this can fuel your fears that it will automatically happen again.
This belief may not be that likely to happen in reality but this kind of distorted thinking is very common with anxiety.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help
Hypnotherapy puts you in state of deep relaxation that brings your unconscious mind to the forefront.
This part of your mind can then help you to get to the bottom of what is triggering your fear of public speaking.
This is a really important step in overcoming your phobia if you can’t easily think back to a specific event that led to its development.
Some people will know for definite what the underlying factor is as they can trace it back to one or two things that happened in a public speaking scenario that set them on the path to how they feel now.
This won’t be the case for everyone though and you may have no real idea of why you feel so anxious about public speaking.
Hypnotherapy can help you to unlock the trigger(s), which may be something you never even thought of. The initial trigger may actually have been fairly trivial at the time but has been given much greater importance in your mind since then.
Your hypnotherapist can then use the power of suggestion to alter your thought processes to prepare you for public speaking. The end result? A more positive mindset and a calmer outlook when you’re next called on to speak publicly.
Hypnotherapy can also work to direct the negative thoughts that are making your phobia worse in a more positive way, through things like visualisation.
Instead of focusing on the negative things that could go wrong, you can use visualisation and positive imagery to imagine yourself doing well with public speaking and being good at it, for example.
In addition to one-to-one hypnotherapy sessions, some hypnotherapists also teach self diagnosis. This can be used at any time to put the benefits of hypnotherapy into practice and you can call on this before speaking publicly, if you need to.