Dreading The Wedding? Don't Let Fear of Public Speaking Ruin Your Big Day

The wedding date is getting closer and soon you will be the father of the bride, Best Man, bridegroom or chief bridesmaid, and whilst you are really looking forward to this special day you are also filled with dread – THE SPEECH! The fact that your audience is going to be your family and friends, doesn't make it any easier! You are not alone in your fear of public speaking as it is one of the most common phobias. It has A medical term - glossophobia - which comes from the Greek meaning 'anxiety of speaking'. So what should you do?

[ photo: pexels.com by rene asmussen ]

A number of recent surveys have found that a huge 25% of the population is terrified of speaking in public. Many people find it an ordeal that makes them feel scared and nervous. We can all remember moments when our throat feels dry, our heart is thumping loudly, we have a knotted stomach and clammy hands.

The phobia is caused by fear which manifests in various guises in different people including a fear of making a fool of themselves, a fear of not speaking well or not having prepared enough or, worse still, having a speech that bores everyone.

Fear can cause a spectrum of physical reactions, ranging from mild anxiety to a full blown panic attack. Specialists liken fear to a bully and explain that when a bully is successfully confronted he quickly becomes no threat at all.

There are a number of suggested reasons for having this in-built fear and one is that it stems from having to read in front of the class as children when you faced teasing and ridicule from peers. Other specialists believe it is because physiologically, standing in front of an audience triggers an instinctive sense of threat and a rush of adrenalin triggers the 'flight or fight' response and many of us prefer to take flight!

The ability to be able to speak confidently in public about your thoughts and ideas is a valuable asset – and not just on the wedding day! Being able to communicate clearly and effectively in a public forum is required in a wide spectrum of jobs today – whether you are a man or woman. Being able to speak in public, definitely helps to build your career, develop your business and gets your audience motivated. It also has many benefits in your personal life too – and not just on wedding days!

Watching programme presenters, the Royal Family and politicians on television can only compound your negative feelings, after all, they all make speaking in public look so easy! They all appear cool, calm and confident and speak with ease and conviction – and certainly without the telltale signs of a quivering voice and shortness of breath.

The fear of public speaking comes in varying degrees and even professional speakers feel  mildly anxious before they make a speech. At the other end of the spectrum, there are people for whom the mere thought of public speaking  makes them so anxious that it takes over their lives, causing many sleepless nights.

For those who suffer mildly from anxiety. There are various ways to prepare for the speech and certainly, good preparation certainly leads to a better performance on the day. There are many good tips on the subject including visiting the venue beforehand and practising there to check out the acoustics. Preparing a set of clearly written bullet points works better than reading word for word from a script. 

Speaking at a slightly slower pace than usual is beneficial too because everyone tends to speed up on such occasions!  Many seasoned speakers suggest starting your speech with a short amusing story as everyone loves them and your audience will be listening to your tale- rather than focusing on you!

If you feel that your phobia is too severe for such DIY measures, the great news is that
the fear of public speaking is such a common one that there is some excellent professional help available. There are ways in which your phobia can be successfully tackled and overcome with short term therapy with hypnosis for fear of public speaking being one of the most effective methods. 

Treatment is provided by specialists who are sympathetic and keen to help you resolve the problem and are supportive throughout your treatment.  A large number of people who seek help, report that the therapy is so effective that they noticed a definite improvement early on. The cost of treatment is a few hundred pounds, which compared to the cost of weddings these days, is an extra attraction and incentive for you to take action!.

Seeking professional help to tackle your phobia is an important decision to make
but also a life-changing one in a really positive way, as you will reap the benefits on the big day. Imagine being able to relax and enjoy such a special occasion without growing increasingly anxious as the time to make your speech approaches. Can you imagine being confident enough to join in the laughter with your family and friends as you recall various amusing and embarrassing moments?

The best news of all is that with professional help this can definitely be a dream come true, and the wedding day will be a happy and memorable one – for all the right reasons.

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