Overcoming presentation fears
Making a speech or giving a presentation can strike raw fear into the most confident of us. Quivering jelly-like as though ascending an executioner’s scaffold rather than a modern podium is horrible and avoidable. It is also one of the most common phobias hypnotherapist are asked to eradicate.
With a little understanding of the forces which generate such tremors, we can get that part of us on side and make presentation fears drop out of our memory forever.
Why does presenting get us into such a state?
At heart we are still tribal, and breaking away from our group to pose as a leader, represents threat at an unconscious level. The unconscious will jump into the breach, stimulating all our primitive defense mechanisms, just as though we face an enraged horde wielding spears, rather than mundane reality: kindly faces blinking through their specs at the conference notes.
How can hypnosis help?
Hypnosis engages with the unconscious which is the root cause of our feelings of sickening dread. When the unconscious is persuaded to accept we are on safe ground it relaxes the guard. The idea that we are relating to our peer professionals from choice and on equal terms seeps in and dispels dread. Once convinced we have no interest in the domination which might spark a tribal backlash, it is open to suggestions. Loosening our fears leads to the clear mind, and the fluent, steady voice we need to do ourselves justice in front of our group.
Maybe all that soundscfar-fetched but a skilled hypnotherapist can help you access the wonderful inner resources we all have, including memory, imagination and the astonishing capacity to create the changes which enable us to present without fears. This can be achieved without stress or intellectual effort because it is working deep down in the realm where our irrational feelings arise: the emotional brain.
If you can’t manage to get yourself a hypnotherapist, use these tips for good presentations
I am afraid of forgetting what I want to say.
Practice will conquer this common concern.
It might sound a little old school but it is essential to practise your talk, no matter what style of speech you are making. Our audience members might only be a handful of business colleagues, but subconsciously they will have similar expectations to any audience. They will expect fluency, ease of communication and to be stimulated.
Famous actors at the top of their game know their lines by heart before they step onto the stage and you need to give yourself the same level of respect. Engrave those words deep into your memory and stammering and panic will be unable to take hold. Using a simple mirror, or recording or videoing yourself and playing it back works wonders. Doing rehearsals in front of a kind and honest friend pays fantastic dividends.
I am worried about losing the interest of my audience.
That is understandable when attention spans are short and participants might lose the thread, even when the most eloquent speaker holds forth. The way to overcome this problem is straightforward though it may sound a little old-fashioned.
Keep what you want to express short and to the point. Remember those who are the most expert in their subject can explain it to anyone. Forget over complication, minimize personal anecdotes and use concise analogies and explanation. Simplicity is the key that unlocks the interest of the audience.
I want the audience to remember my talk with appreciation.
Whatever kind of talk you are giving, people appreciate honesty and sincerity. So above all, let your authentic self shine through and you can be sure they will remember you warmly.
Endings are crucial. Closing your talk on an upbeat note makes all the difference. Film Directors are notorious for changing the ending of a depressing novel so the audience leave with a warm feeling, ready to recommend the film. Shakespeare knew those psychological techniques and named one play, ‘All’s Well that Ends Well’.
Even your if talk is delivering serious messages, think of a positive and encouraging way to end so people go home uplifted.
If you are still feeling unsure, why not consider some hypnotherapy? A professional hypnotherapist is very familiar with the issues and can tailor sessions to use the subconscious. Eliminating the obstacles that are unique to you can overcome the fears for good. Only a few consultations may be all that is necessary.