These suggestions were prepared for use when the patient has already begun to overcome anxiety and self-consciousness concerning public speaking. Once the patient begins to have successful speaking experiences, these suggestions may foster a more permanent diminution of anxiety. A very positive element of these suggestions is the acceptance, utilization and reframing of a modicum of anxiety, which research has demonstrated may enhance performance. (Ed.)
First of all, I would like you to allow yourself to express your fear of public speaking freely and openly for a moment, allowing it to escape like steam escaping from a safety valve, to relieve the pressure. So just picture yourself up there giving your talk, and let yourself feel all the anxiety for a moment, just as strongly as you can. Let your imagination go, and let yourself feel all the anxiety you have been holding back. Feel it surging to the surface. Let yourself feel it all and experience it all. Now!
And as I continue to speak, your fear is beginning to leave; for you have allowed most of it to escape by permitting yourself to express it openly. Your fear has been considerably weakened, and what little is left of it is going away completely. It's almost gone. Now your fear is completely gone, and you can feel a great sense of relief.
And whenever you are about to give any kind of public speech, you will be able to feel and experience all the anxiety that the speech may cause you; but this anxiety will always be felt before you are about to begin, so that by the time you actually start to speak, most of the anxiety will already have been released. And any remaining tension will be well within the range that is helpful—just enough to add liveliness and sparkle to your delivery, but not enough to detract from it or prevent you from doing your very best.
Because you are able to express all your unnecessary anxiety ahead of time, you will be able to concentrate completely on what you have to say as soon as your speech begins, without worrying about how you may look or sound to others. And as your talk progresses, you will soon become so engrossed in what you have to say that you will forget about yourself completely.
When your speech is concluded, you will be full of the warm feeling of accomplishment which comes from the certain knowledge that you have done well. And as time goes on, this realization of how well you are actually doing will cause your anxiety to become less and less, until it disappears completely.
Was this article helpful?