How to use hypnosis to be a brilliant public speaker!
It was Dale Carnegie who said, “You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” A common fear among many people is the fear of public speaking.
The idea of standing in front of an audience to persuade or present often causes worry and anxiety, but it doesn’t have to.
What will I learn in this blog?
• How to prepare your presentation so that you feel confident
• Some great techniques to communicate with your audience
• Body language skills to appear more confident
• How to enjoy presentations more and more
Why is it so frightening?
Maybe it’s a presentation in front of your boss, the dreaded Best Man’s Speech, or even an important telephone call with a client. No matter what the occasion, we can often get so worried about a public presentation that it feels like your life in in danger. There’s a good reason for that, and once you understand it, public speaking is easy!
Let me give you an example; I place a large scaffolding plank on the floor of your living room, paint it bright red and ask you to walk along it from one end to the other. Think you can do that without falling off? Of course you can, it’s a doddle.
Now let’s take that very same plank, stick it out of the top of a skyscraper and take a walk along it. What? do you mean ‘No’? It’s easy! Its exactly the same task as it was in your living room, so why are you nervous about it being a little higher?
The truth is you are right to be nervous! The perceived threat is very real. If you fall off the plank in your living room, you end up on a nice fluffy carpet, if you do the same from the top of a skyscraper? Well, best we don’t go there.
It’s this same perceived threat that can make public speaking appear so scary; if you get lost in the middle of a conversation with your mum in the living room, it doesn’t matter, if you do the same in front of your boss and 3,000 people on Zoom, well, it does! Yet, the skill set is exactly the same, it’s just the venue that alters.
The performance anxiety associated with speaking in public is simply the fear of being judged. And that’s the fear that can trip us up!
For the next part of this story, we are going on a rollercoaster.
The person in front of me in the queue hates rollercoasters. He thinks they are dangerous. His body is reacting in just the way you would expect; his heart rate increases, his blood pressure goes up, his hands feel clammy, there’s no saliva in his mouth, his skin feels tingly. He perceives danger!
Now, I’m in the queue behind him and I love rollercoasters! Guess what my body is doing? My heart rate increases, my blood pressure goes up, my hands feel clammy, there’s no saliva in my mouth, my skin feels tingly. I perceive excitement!
Isn’t it weird that our bodies are doing the same thing, we just interpret it differently. And that’s the most important part in enjoying public speaking, to see it as being exciting, not frightening. To embrace the fact that communicating is a skill we are all good at and to feel as comfortable in talking to a crowd of strangers as you do with a group of friends.
So what do I do to change all this?
Your attitude to public speaking is the most important part; see it as being something exciting, and no more threatening than chatting to your mum. (Unless, of course, your mum is really scary, in which case, choose someone else).
Familiarity is everything! The more you do it, the better you get. It’s a skill that you learn through practice, so rather than avoid being in a situation where you may be asked to give a speech, go out and look for it, be the person that is always asked to do it and you’ll enjoy the entire experience more every time.
OK – here are my Top Ten Tips for success in speaking:
• Think Out Your Ideas
In order to speak well in front of multiple people, you need to have your entire presentation planned out. Just as you would create an outline for a research paper, you should do the same for your presentation. You’ll need to support your ideas, so think of examples that you can use as evidence. Structure your thoughts in a way that makes sense, and create a feeling of completeness with a beginning, middle, and end.
• Be Prepared
You will need to practice your speech in order to feel confident while speaking. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare or you will not feel ready to present. Instead of trying to memorise every word, only memorise the key points of your outline and the examples you will be using for support. You want to be engaged, not robotic-sounding. Your speech should flow naturally, as if you were having a conversation with another person.
• Start Confidently
The opening of your presentation will determine how the rest of the speech goes, so speak with assertiveness and at a volume where everyone can easily hear you. Open with a strong statement and bold language in order to convey confidence. Remember that the audience has no prior opinions or thoughts on what you are going to say, and you are the authoritative source in this situation.
Use your body to tell the audience you are comfortable being where you are.
• Make Eye Contact
Throughout your presentation, it is important to make eye contact with individuals in the room. While you should not focus on one particular person for two long, it is okay to hold someone’s gaze for a few seconds. If you look at the floor or in a random direction, your audience will sense that you are not as engaged as you could be. Making eye contact lets your listeners know that you believe in what you are saying and that you are there to inform them about something new.
• Slow Down
A beginner’s mistake when it comes to public speaking is to rush through the presentation. When you walk to the podium or front of the room, take a deep breath, look at your audience, and even count to five before starting to speak. It may feel like an eternity, but it will seem like a normal amount of time to the people in the room. Remember to speak clearly and annunciate your words. You should have a slight pause after commas and between sentences, and an even bigger pause between paragraphs or major points in your argument.
When you. Use an elongated pause, you really capture the attention of the room.
• Stay Steady
Most people know that it’s important not to fidget during a presentation, but it’s also crucial that you limit your movement as much as possible. Slight swaying or talking with your hands can be just as distracting as ordinary fidgeting. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, keep your head up, and plant your feet firmly to the ground. It may feel awkward to hold this stance for a long time, but it will help you to stand up straight and look more confident while you speak.
Please don’t fill your hands with 224 marker pens.
If you’re using a projector or slide show, turn it off when you’re not directly using it. Then the focus of attention is you!
• Be Human
Remember: it’s okay to be slightly nervous. In fact, it’s normal and beneficial. Don’t worry about seeming nervous in front of others, since everybody in the room has had to give a presentation at one point and understands how you feel. If you make a mistake, that’s okay too. Just take a deep breath and pick up where you left off. Keep in mind that everyone in the room is looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
• Expect success
You only need one good performance and you will start to see the excitement in what you do.
• Use your body!
Read about body language. It really will help you to get the audience on your side. Get Alan Pease’s seminal book on ‘Body Language’ and study how to communicate properly. Did you know that the communication that goes on between you and your audience is 78% non-verbal and only 22% verbal? Once you learn some of the techniques of using your body to communicate, you really are in control!
Palms are important! Show them to indicate you mean no harm. (Not Jazz Hands though please)
Ok – sound great – now tell me about Hypnosis!
As you have seen, enjoying public speaking is all about being in control of your thoughts and feelings, telling your body you are safe and having fun.
Using hypnosis is the perfect way to get a healthy perspective on talking to an audience. We use special techniques to boost your natural skills.
– Increase mental calmness when you are speaking and on the run up to an event.
– Feel more physically relaxed and safe
– Have bags of confidence in your abilities and knowledge
– Be more competent when you present
We can even make a unique self hypnosis recording for you to use as your exciting event gets closer. It really will change the way you enjoy speaking in public forever!
You can get more information about good sleep from the NHS via this link.
To find out more about hypnosis and how it works, have a look here.
Denisa Williams came to The Hypnosis Clinic in late 2020 to see if it could help with social anxiety and fear of public speaking.
“During our 4 sessions, Jonathan has always been very supportive, understanding and always there to answer all my questions even outside our sessions. Jonathan created a very relaxing and safe environment during our sessions and as a result I have slowly started to see changes in my language, attitudes and behaviours right our first hypnosis session. I resonated very well with his method of therapy and I can warmly recommend The Hypnosis Clinic to anyone who is suffering of anxiety, low self-esteem or fear of public speaking”
What did I learn here?
Enjoying public speaking is just getting into a good habit, and hypnosis can really help you to do that. Generally you should expect to have 3 to 4 sessions and and have a custom-made recording to get that new habit established really quickly.
If you’d like to find out more about how hypnosis can help you, have a look at our website. We offer a free initial consultation, either by a Telehealth video link or at our clinic in Novena Medical Centre.
Or if you fancy a chat, just give us a call.