Overcome public speaking anxiety with self-hypnosis

by | Dec 17, 2015

In this podcast, Al and I discuss how you can use simple, easy self-hypnosis techniques to become a much more confident public speaker.

Here’s a summary of the exercises we were discussing in the video.

You can do either of these techniques before a public speaking situation – few minutes before, a few hours before, or even days beforehand. They are both fantastic ways of learning how to calmly focus your mind.

Exercise 1

  • Write down three positive memories.
  • You could write down a time you accomplished something you were proud of, another time when you felt enjoyably absorbed in a game or a hobby, and a time you felt relaxed chatting to a friend.
  • Then vividly take your mind back into each of those memories and “drink in” those positive emotions.
  • Finally, see yourself speaking with confidence at an upcoming event. Imagine yourself overcoming any initial nerves, and get a sense of it having gone even better than you expected.

Exercise 2

  • Find yourself in a comfortable place, quiet if possible, but it isn’t essential, we live in the real world here, and learning to deal with distractions is a hugely important skill to attain!
  • Sit comfortably, in a dignified posture, with a comfortably straight spine.
  • You might want to place your hands gently to rest on your stomach. As you breathe in, push your stomach out (don’t worry, nobody is probably watching) – this will help draw down air to the deeper part of your lungs.
  • You’ll feel your hands move a little a you do, and this feedback with help with the rhythm of your breathing.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Focus on your breath. Place all of your attention and awareness on the breath.
  • Follow the journey of your breath allowing it to enter through your nose.
  • Notice the temperature of the air against your nostrils.
  • Follow the breathe as it travels down your windpipe into your lungs.
  • Feel your stomach be gently pushed out, causing even more life giving air to be drawn into your body.
  • Feel your chest expand and fill with air and then your throat.
  • Then exhale fully and a naturally controlled manner.
  • Allow the rhythm of your breath to be akin to the sounds of waves crashing on the the beach.
  • Repeat 🙂

a) Enhance this by wearing a ‘Mona Lisa’ smile – that is, just turn up the corners of your mouth in the beginnings of a contented smile. This will make an almost instant change to how you feel, and your internal experience – for the better.

b) Mantra: Think of a word that is something you want more of – ie Peace, Joy, Compassion, Joy, Health, Strength, Calm etc.

Now imagine breathing in this word as you breathe in, and imagine your whole body being bathed and blessed by this word. – this an be useful for those of us who have a lot of internal dialogue.

WHEN your mind wanders – because it probably will at some point, just gently lead it back to the breath. No judgement, no scolding, just a gentle return to the breath, done kindly.

Start small at first, say a minute, then build to two when you feel ready then three then more etc.

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