It's not just the bride who suffers from pre-wedding nerves. All she's got to do is turn up on the day looking ravishing whereas the groom, best man and father of the bride have to stand up in front of a sea of faces and deliver flawless, witty and memorable speeches.
"It comes as no surprise to learn that most of us would rather stick pins in our eyes than speak in public," said clinical hypnotherapist Karen Martin. "It takes real guts to calmly and confidently stand in front of a room full of people and hold their attention. And a skinful of Dutch courage can make the ordeal even worse," she added.
Sweaty palms, an upset stomach, the shakes and a pounding chest often accompany the dread of public speaking and, when it comes to weddings, can ruin that special day for the sufferers.
"For the majority of speakers at a wedding, it's the only occasion in their lives when they have to play to an audience. Even those whose work sometimes puts them in the spotlight can suffer the jitters," said Karen.
"Fear of public speaking is the most common social phobia and symptoms can appear weeks in advance, building up as the big day approaches. But there is a solution for sufferers. Hypnotherapy is excellent for calming anxiety and building confidence. When combined with powerful Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, it can effectively transform the whole occasion into a positive experience," she added.
NLP is widely used as a business tool to train executives to give presentations to their colleagues and customers. "These days in the workplace it's no longer enough just to know your stuff, you need to convince everyone else that you do as well. In these situations, the treatment is pretty much the same as for the wedding speaker. It also works well for those who have been stuck in the same job for years because they've been too nervous to attend job interviews."
"What always amazes the people who use NLP to overcome their fear of public speaking" said Karen, "is how easy it is to dispel the nerves and completely change the way they feel about the task in hand."
"Any kind of performance anxiety can easily be escalated and become overwhelming. The more at stake, the more catastrophic we can imagine the experience to be. This kind of mental rehearsal stores up a whole lot of stress and often sets us up to fail. But it is possible to transform disaster into success using a number of techniques to remain calm and confident on the big day including 're-framing', or turning round negative thoughts, and 'modelling', copying the style and presentation of a great speaker."
"These are just a couple of examples of the many and varied ways in which NLP can enable us to be the best we can possibly be," she added.
Author: Karen Martin
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