In theory public speaking should be easy, right? You can speak coherently, can’t you? You can be in a room with your family and friends, right? So why does the idea of public speaking fill some of us with the sort of terror great enough to be willing to sell our soul to the devil in order to avoid it?
If you are a groom, best man or father of the bride, who is currently seeking out the devil’s phone number to avoid the trauma that is your speech, then rest assured that you are not alone. Fear of public speaking is an incredibly common phobia. The good news is that it’s also an easy phobia to deal with.
Firstly, speak to yourself as if you were your own best friend. The way we speak to ourselves, our own inner monologue, has a massive impact on our feelings and behaviour. So every time you notice yourself say something negative such as,
“I’m dreading this speech. I’m going to be crap at it and start shaking and sweating.”
Replace it with a more useful suggestion as if you were talking to your best friend such as,
“I know the people I’m speaking about so well. I have lots of funny and interesting things to say that the guests at the wedding are looking forward to hearing.”
Often people who are afraid of public speaking find that their voice trembles, their heart rate races, their breathing quickens and their face goes red. These are all classic physiological signs of being in a state of high anxiety. As this state has been brought on entirely by the mind, it can also be calmed entirely by the mind.
A good technique to achieve this is to practise getting yourself into a state of deep relaxation in the weeks and months before the wedding. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing and allow yourself to become completely relaxed. When you are in a completely relaxed state imagine yourself doing the speech competently and confidently. If you find yourself getting anxious just focus once again on the relaxation. Repeat this as often as you can and you will find that your mind pairs relaxation with the scenario of public speaking. As it is impossible to be both highly anxious and very relaxed at the same time, this technique removes the anxiety related to the situation.
I am a hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner in Dorset, and I have developed my own specialised Public Speaking treatment plan. I have great success with clients who fear public speaking, as well as clients who suffer from other worries and anxieties. I offer a free initial consultation. If this sounds like something you’re interested in then, do get in touch. www.cs-hypnotherapy.co.ukLastly, a speech at a big occasion such as a wedding should be an experience to relish. Let’s make sure that it is.