Presenting Panic

Presentation skills – client lost control of mind and body even in anticipation of a requirement to stand up and talk

This has got to be the biggest area of terror for so many people. I see people who are very confident, intelligent, personable people turn into the strangest beings at the mere thought of having to get up and speak to an audience. Others, of course, the “microphone grabbers”, many of us wish were not so hasty.

Bob was definitely not a microphone grabber. He belonged to the former group of unlikely reluctant speakers, given his grace and poise any other time. Now I know this particularly well, as I am a former jelly. The issues that he had were greater in degree of severity, but very similar in type. I’m talking about freezing, blank mind, sweating, losing the place, forgetting what he’s said, seeing the audience as the harsh, disapproving enemy – all very standard terror symptoms.  Whilst the symptoms are very similar, everyone experiences the process in a different way, and reacts to different elements of the process differently. The process that I used with Bob was very similar to a multi-layered phobia technique, which enabled him to operate at a level of consciousness relevant to the scenario, not recalling some deep rooted fear from a long time ago, of no relevance now. Bob was a bad case, but there are so many others who believe they have been “saved” by this process.