• Randy Hampton

Fear of Public Speaking

Research shows that the top fear people have is public speaking. The fear of public speaking even tops the fear of dying - so it’s a pretty big deal for most people. What is it about public speaking that causes a person’s heart to race, breathing to intensify, and the sweat to pour? Maybe you are one of those people who also experience blushing, dry mouth, or your mind going completely blank as you open your mouth to speak.

The subconscious mind’s job is to protect you. That means it triggers one of three fear responses when you are threatened. Sure - you know consciously that the presentation you need to give or talking to a potential new friend is not a real threat, but your mind doesn’t differentiate the kind of threat. For thousands of years humans roamed the earth in tribes. The world was dangerous. Other tribes, hungry animals, disease, and unexpected natural disasters, meant that we needed to be on high alert and immediately ready to respond to any threat. The world has changed. It’s safer now but it’s a relatively recent change and thousands of years of biology doesn’t change as quickly as technology. Today’s stressful events are broken coffee makers, public presentations, and traffic jams. But that human brain just keeps doing those three fear responses - fight, flight, or freeze.


The fight response is a burst of adrenaline to energize you body for battle. When you don’t immediately jump up to burn off the protective adrenaline rush, you’re left with shaking muscles, dry mouth, and a jittery feeling. The flight response is another adrenaline rush but this one is designed to get you to run like hell. If you get this one, you’ll get the shaking muscles along with an overwhelming rush of brain chemicals telling you to run. The flight response can even lead to vomiting or intestinal distress as your body tries to lighten up for the life-dependent escape. Well, that’s not helpful. And the freeze response? That’s not adrenaline, it’s brain fog and muscle weakness. If you’ve ever felt like you can’t remember your presentation or that your knees were too weak to stand, that’s a freeze response. After all, you don’t need to remember anything when you should be focused on staying completely still so that hungry dinosaur can’t see you.

Can you overcome any of these responses? Yes. Hypnosis helps identify and change the stress trigger so you don’t feel the fear. If your brain wasn’t afraid, then it could focus on what you need it to focus on. What if you could learn to tune that response so that you got the perfect squirt of adrenaline so your presentation was lively and fun? What if you knew three important quickdraw brain hacks that could let you stand up confidently in any situation? Hawaii Hypnosis Center’s master hypnotists can help eliminate the fear and build the better reaction so you can succeed. Isn’t it time to take a look at what your story is so you can change that story?


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