Stephenson Coaching

Hypnosis to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

Standing up to speak in front of a group of people can be intimidating enough in your own language; doing so in a foreign language is sometimes the biggest hurdle my clients have to face. Glossophobia (fear of public speaking) ranks number 1 on the list of people’s worst fears, and statistics show that around 75% of the population suffer from it. Lack of self-confidence, the fear of being judged and/or feeling like an impostor are common obstacles that my clients evoke, causing them to feel anxiety in front of an audience.

As a coach in public speaking, I’m always interested in discovering new tools that will help my clients. Having heard that using Ericksonian hypnosis is highly effective in overcoming mental blocks, I decided to train as a hypno-practioner. The results have exceeded my own expectations and I’m more than ever convinced by the benefits it brings to my clients.

However, because hypnosis is both currently fashionable and at the same time scary (we all have images of stage hypnosis in our minds), I fully understand that my clients need to be reassured before embarking on a session.
I’d, therefore, like to share with you my answers to some of the most common questions people ask me about hypnosis and its effectiveness:

1. Is it like on TV, where the hypnotiser makes people do all sorts of strange things?

No, not at all! That sort of hypnosis is done for fun, to impress and amuse people, In my coaching practice, I use Ericksonian hypnosis, which was created by Milton Erickson an American psychiatrist (1901-1980), for therapeutic purposes. The principle behind Ericksonian hypnosis is that the solutions to our problems can be found in our subconscious, but because our conscious mind is telling us to do this or not to do that, we don’t know which decision is right for us anymore. As a hypno-practitioner, I enable my clients to locate the inner resources that will help them to cope creatively with the problems of their everyday lives.

2. If I let you into my subconscious, isn’t there a danger of me telling you things that I want to keep secret?

No, I follow strict ethical guidelines throughout my coaching practice. Ericksonian hypnosis is one tool that I use with you and I offer it when it’s appropriate for the situation. I only use it in a therapeutic and ethical way.
Besides, during hypnosis, your subconscious will only tell me what is appropriate for the work we’re undertaking. Many people have the fear of a hypno-practitioner taking over their mind, but in reality you yourself make the conscious decision to go into a meditative state or not. And if you don’t trust your hypno-practitioner the session won’t work. As with any type of coaching, it’s essential to have a climate of trust with your coach and to be reassured that they are putting your needs first.

3. Is hypnosis more effective than other tools used to overcome the fear of public speaking?

There are many different and effective coaching tools available and they are complementary. Hypnosis is one of the tools I offer and I’m convinced of its effectiveness, but it’s integrated into a coaching programme that’s adapted to each client’s personal needs. I also provide my clients with other public speaking techniques, such as how to portray positive body language, make their content interesting and/or use breathing techniques to reduce stress.

4. Can you give me an example of how hypnosis has helped your clients?

One of my clients described to me how uncomfortable he felt each time he had to speak in front of a group of people, making him blush and feel anxious. During the hypnosis session I asked him to visualise himself in a place where he felt calm and safe. I then asked him to visualise himself on a stage giving a presentation to an audience, keeping with him those feelings of comfort and safety. After the session, he told me that he visualised himself in front of an audience with his duvet wrapped around him, feeling very comfy and snug! The next time he gave a presentation he surprised himself by feeling much calmer and at ease.
This particular client needed to feel comfortable and safe in order to speak in public confidently. His subconscious prepared his mind by allowing him to visualise what it would be like giving a successful presentation and as a result he gained confidence in his ability as a speaker.

5. How many sessions do I need to do?

It depends on each person, but in general I suggest 10 sessions of 2 hours. During the preliminary assessment, I fix the number of hours with you, according to your goal and needs.

6.Can I learn to hypnotise myself?

Yes, it’s possible to do auto-hypnosis. Once you’ve learned how to access your subconscious in the sessions, you’ll find it easier to use those techniques by yourself. I’m also happy for you to record the sessions if you wish so as to listen to them by yourself.
It’s important to know, though, that the fundamental work takes place during the session and then when you’re faced with a difficulty you find yourself subconsciously putting into place the solution you’ve had access to during the hypnosis.

7. I’d like to learn more about hypnosis. How can I contact you?

You can either call me on +33 6 47 92 44 60
Or email me at marie@stephensoncoaching.com

I’ll be delighted to answer all your questions and share with you my experiences.

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