The greatest fear of all

The most common fear is of public speaking. Some people love it but others would rather be in a pit of snakes than stand up and speak in public. I’ve read that Barbra Streisand, seasoned performer that she is, often vomits before going on stage out of Fear-of-public-speakingnerves.

Is there a cure?

I have worked with people using EFT (emotional freedom technique) to address their fear of public speaking and had some very positive results including a bridegroom who was very apprehensive about making the speech at his wedding.

How does it work?

EFT involves tapping on various points on the head, face and hands which correspond to the end of various acupuncture meridians. Tapping whilst focusing on the problem (in this case, visualising on how public speaking makes you feel) releases energy through the meridiens and reduces the associated stress levels.

Often the fear goes back to an earlier time; being made fun of in class when having to read aloud perhaps, or during the school play. We often work with this memory.

When people have reduced their level of stress to perhaps a 2 or 3 out of ten, we then begin to change the fear to a positive feeling; perhaps one where everyone is cheering and applauding such a great example of public speaking. We build up the positive association as much as we can.

What happens afterwards?

The benefits of EFT are twofold. The person with the fear now has a positive emotion associated with public speaking rather than a negative, and they also have a self-help technique to use at any time they become apprehensive about standing up and speaking in public. The hand points alone can be used – tapping on the top of your head can look a bit strange if you are in a public place!

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