Does hypnosis work for fear of public speaking

When fear of speaking turns into a career killer

Markus is not a leader. That is why he does not hold a managerial position in his company, is just a "normal" employee. He made a conscious decision to do this because he does not want to take responsibility, does not want to make speeches in front of other people.
Once a year, the company management invites individual employees from all departments to a larger group. There should be the opportunity to uncover deficits from the perspective of the individual, to express operational blindness and to communicate suggestions for improvements directly to the executives. In the afternoon, Markus should be brought into the conference room with the large round table. There he can address everything that bothers him and bring in his good ideas for process optimization.

He has a lot of ideas! Only ... to be observed and judged by ten strict-looking people in a suit ... that scares him. So much so that he has slept restlessly for a week and not brought down a bite this morning. But finally the time has come. He enters the conference room with shaky legs. The people in there actually look very friendly, but unfortunately that doesn't help Markus in the least. His throat tightens, his pulse is fast. What if he can't utter a sound or stutters? What if he just stammered nonsense? You could see him, the otherwise so committed employee, with completely different eyes, no longer appreciate him, maybe even find someone better for his position? The excitement dominates him, he can no longer think clearly ...

Do you know this feeling? Then you probably also know the lack of understanding towards people who have fun speaking and giving speeches in public. And the fear of not being able to meet the expectations of others, which becomes the fear of not disappointing your own expectations. Such a fear of speech can sometimes also influence the career, and not in a positive way.

Uwe Hampel

Only bad? Fear can make us aware of grievances

Fear has its good sides. It can help you focus, improve, and learn. She also draws our attention to a grievance: There is something that is overwhelming me, I should work on it! If the fear becomes too great, however, it can also become a career killer - regardless of whether it is during a job interview, at lectures or privately in front of a large group of people. We spoke to the coach and psychological advisor Uwe Hampel about what exactly we are dealing with and what can be done about it.

Is there a difference between stage fright and fear of speaking or performing? What actually is a “normal” degree of nervousness and are there also positive sides to stage fright?

Fine art: Stage fright and fear of performance are actually the same thing. Most artists speak of stage fright: of an excitement, ie "fever" before a performance in the spotlight. (There we have the lamp.) The fear of speech is one of the social fears. An estimated 40 percent of people are said to be afraid or even panic about standing in front of a group and speaking.
A normal level of nervousness can be tolerated well. Since it is more of a subjective feeling and people deal with it differently, the question “What is normal?” Cannot be answered specifically. But if the quality of life is suffering from the tension, something should be done about it. But it can also motivate you to prepare better. I say, if it helps you prepare, it's positive. If it doesn't support you, then it's not positive.

What was the worst speech anxiety experience a client has ever reported to you?

Fine art: Then I remember the story of a student. When she was in kindergarten as a four-year-old, three young men doing their community service there made fun of her dialect. She remembered a situation in which the three civil servants were sitting at the table in front of her, looking at her and laughing, asking her to speak. Of course, the little girl didn't find it funny at all, at that moment she was afraid to say something. Which is also understandable: A little girl stands in front of three young men who laugh when she says something. This experience "installed" a pattern in her brain that works to this day. When she stands in front of unfamiliar people who are looking at her because she is supposed to give a presentation, she has the same feeling (fear of being laughed at) as in the situation in kindergarten.

Why do some people have difficulty presenting themselves to a group?

Fine art: There is no general answer to this question. Every person is an individual and accordingly the processes and patterns that limit people in their quality of life are individual. There are therefore no generalizations. At least not at the school I represent. I refuse to pigeonhole people, that is, to generalize them. The above example makes it clear that the causes of the difficulties are very individual. And must be worked out individually for each person.

How do I know what is causing my fear?

Fine art: As your coach, I would ask you about it. If we want to help people overcome their difficulties, we have to work out the unconscious processes that keep their difficulties going. And you do that by asking the expert for the difficulty. And the expert is the client, not the coach. The biggest mistake in coaching is that the consultant thinks he knows what is going on in the mind of his client. If I said so, I would be hallucinating.

What are the means and methods to combat it?

Fine art: If you want to fight, you've already lost. And there really aren't any tips. The student in our example above was more harmed than helpful by the many tips from the rhetoric seminars she attended. Tips are something static that cannot help people resolve restrictive processes. Rather, when people try tips that don't work, they feel even worse. That's why my # 1 tip is: Steer clear of tips. My tip no. 2: If a professional wants to give you tips, leave your hands with the professional.

"Tip No. 1: Steer clear of tips!"

It's a phenomenon that people tend to focus on what obviously doesn't seem to work. You think about what will or could happen. They make pictures of certain situations or produce film scenes of the difficulties they are dealing with. And most of the time they do it all very well. And they do it over and over and over and over again, until they have mastered it almost perfectly. They become true masters, so to speak, at the things that don't work.
And people deal with symptoms. Whole lists of symptoms are even made, which are then described in detail. So that those affected create the opportunity to attach their difficulties to the symptoms. What people tend to ask less often is:

"What exactly would have to be different for it to work?"

Can it help to keep speaking in front of a large group to reduce stage fright?

Fine art: It can definitely help. It should be noted, however, that you have to take care of the unconscious processes. As in the example above. With rhetoric courses, breathing technique or autogenic training you will get nowhere. This is just make-up and doesn't really help those affected. If your car's engine isn't running smoothly, repainting the body is less useful, isn't it? Incidentally, the student from the example above had attended countless rhetoric seminars during her studies. However, the courses were of no use to her. Process-oriented coaching, on the other hand, can very well provide a remedy.

Is there a way from fear of speaking to the joy of public speaking?

Fine art: Yes there is. If someone wants to enjoy public speaking and it suits their personality, there is this way. But he has to find it first. And here I really have a tip: find someone to show you the way.

About the person: Uwe Hampel

Uwe Hampel, born in 1957, was an entrepreneur with a fitness and health club. He has been working as a coach since 2008 and supports his clients in change processes and personal growth in many areas of life and with professional challenges. Since 2007 he has been trained in systemic procedures. He is a certified psychological advisor (VFP) and aspiring to become a naturopath in the field of psychotherapy. More about Uwe Hampel at www.hmp-coaching.de

Image Credit: PathDoc / Shutterstock; Uwe Hampel; Fer Gregory / Shutterstock