Eddie* came to see me, about his forthcoming wedding and making a speech as the groom. It was so bad that he’d delayed getting married and now the day was looming his fear of public speaking was affecting him so badly that his fiancée thought that he was getting cold feet.
We started by talking about Eddie’s fears and where they had come from. He’d always had a fear of public speaking, ever since reading out loud in class at school, and he was convinced that his speech was going to be a disaster.
I told Eddie about mental rehearsal, and how Muhammad Ali used it to prepare for fights. He went into the ring knowing and believing he would win, and Eddie was doing the opposite, rehearsing over and over how bad he would be.
Using hypnotherapy helped Eddie to think of times when he had felt good – with friends, at work, and playing football. I then got him to imagine making the speech and feeling all of those great feelings as he stood up. As well as rehearsing feeling confident I got Eddie to imagine giving his speech, seeing how well it went, and hearing the laughter and applause. At the session I recorded a CD for Eddie to take so that he could keep his mental rehearsal going.
Eddie rang me after the honeymoon to tell me that although still a bit nervous beforehand he had enjoyed making the wedding speech. Not only that, he was now giving some of the toolbox talks on site!
Eddie’s name and some details have been changed to protect his anonymity, and he is happy to share his story.