Hypnotherapy for Public Speaking and performance, with tips

Whether you perform in front of people for Business, Stage or TV, you will know that stage fright or performance anxiety is a debilitating fear that will negatively impact the quality of your performance. Even if you have been performing or giving presentations for years, nerves can suddenly kick in, and sabotage the situation – and your enjoyment.

Feeling nervous is a useful, and normal reaction to giving a performance. As the adrenaline pumps through our bodies, we can feel ‘butterflies’, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, and palpitations, or sometimes we will just ‘freeze’, or get ‘mental blocks’. These are all symptoms that show us that we have activated our fight or flight response. However, when we are experiencing stage fright or performance anxiety, we can very quickly move into a place where we don’t feel in control.

Just as you are about to perform, your mind may negatively forecast that things will go terribly wrong, and so it continues to sustain the fight or flight response to try to force you to avoid the situation and run away, or stay and fight. But that doesn’t feel so great, does it? Especially when the pressure is on and we have to continue standing there for the next half an hour…

The fight or flight response has been with us since primitive man and in all fairness, has served the human race pretty effectively, but it’s unhelpful when it gets out of control and comes between you and enjoying your next performance. Whether you are a presentation newcomer, or a public-speaking veteran, everyone agrees that preparing effectively is key to performing to your best ability. Over the years, I’ve helped Entrepreneurs from SME’s to CEO’s of large organisations prepare to perform to the best of their ability.  Below are a few tips that are included in my strategy. Be warned, prepare to use your imagination!

  1. Go back to basics – Eat, Sleep and Exercise well in the run up to the presentation – as soon as you get the email from your Boss asking you to present. Put the plan into action. Eating, sleeping and exercising well, will make sure you have a solid base to work from.
  2. Focus on the outcome – Imagine yourself when you have completed the presentation. How would you like to feel? Excited? Relieved? Proud? Anchor that feeling to the image, and hold the image in your mind. Bring that image and feeling into your mind every day before the presentation.
  3. Visualise the audience – The audience want you to do well. They are there to enjoy your talk, learn from you. They didn’t buy a ticket to see you ‘fail’. Visualise them smiling and listening as they listen to your talk.
  4. Use pauses – This will give the audience time to process information and you, time to breathe. Confident speakers use pauses. This is a good signal to the audience that you know what you are doing.
  5. Accept those nerves and breathe – Feeling nervous is a natural reaction to performance. As the adrenaline pumps through our bodies, we can feel ‘butterflies’, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, and palpitations. These are all symptoms that show us that we have activated our fight or flight response. This is normal. It happens to most people. The key to this is acceptance. Don’t fight it. Accept that those feelings are there, they are trying to help you. Don’t dismiss them but accept that they are working hard for you, feel into them. Say thank you. Really! To reduce the intensity of the feeling, place your hand on your stomach, breathe in slowly for the count of 2, out for 2, in for 3, out for 3, in for 4, out for 4.

My strategy is a blended mix of psychological and physiological tools, helping you to manage fear and conquer nerves so you can walk on stage feeling more relaxed and in control.  I have helped clients with a fear of public speaking and performance anxiety from established Actors, world-class Musicians, to CEO’s so they can perform to the best of their ability. You can read some of their personal accounts and stories here.  Please contact me on hello@annettesloly.com or call me on 07908 175 499 to make an appointment.

“I went to see Annette to overcome an anxiety issue related to public speaking and situations where I felt under stress. I felt the issue was stopping me from being as effective at work as I could be. What I got from the sessions is so much more however. Annette helped me to change my perception on a number of levels. With the work we did together I came to realise that I had developed some bad habits in terms of how I thought about certain things. I’ve always spent time and money on making sure I’m physically healthy, but never before had I done this for my mind. It’s been the best investment I could ever make. After just a few weeks of seeing her, I feel so much happier, less stressed, more in control, relaxed and confident. It’s touched every area of my life, not just work. Annette has equipped me with a great toolkit for understanding and coping with public speaking anxiety, so much so that I’ve signed up to speak at a conference in the near future! I can’t recommend Annette’s work highly enough. If you’re unsure whether to get in touch with her, I would say it’s likely to be the best investment you could make and you’re worth it – get in touch with her! I wish I had done it years ago.”

Sarah, Digital Director