NLP and hypnosis are truly remarkable skills to understand when it comes to behavioural change and the development of new patterns and states of mind.

One difficulty many people have is nervousness around public speaking. This can manifests itself in many ways; some people are so shy they can hardly utter a word others blush uncontrollably to name but two symptomatic responses to the demands of public speaking.

Although these symptoms are rarely caused by some underlying ill health they can be socially debilitating and have a negative impact on wellbeing. The development of the fear of public speaking can have any number of causes, from early childhood events to a specific time of acute embarrassment and many other possible causes too numerous to mention.

The good news is we don’t need to know the initial or precipitating event, what we need to discover is what has to happen for the person to have this fear or behavioural affect. What happens inside the person when the trigger is there? What happens to them internally when they think of that meeting or the time they went to speak and blushed or stammered or had another uncontrolled nervous response. By understanding what happens in the neurology we can teach skills to reverse that neurology without recourse to applying analytical meaning to the symptom.

As an example, if the person thinks of a triggering event, do they feel their skin begin to warm up, say from the neck to the top of the head or do they have a horrible sinking feeling in their stomach. Perhaps they have a voice in their head that says “oh no“ or maybe they make a picture of the event working out poorly. What we need to do is NLP Meta-Modelling which is a detailed type of interview that helps you and the client understand how they mentally process the information that generates their state of mind. We need to do this in sufficient detail to really understand how that person’s neurology works and then we can begin to reverse it. We find scenarios from the person’s experience that represent the exact opposite of symptomatic expression of the nervous reaction. A cool breeze instead of a hot flush a flowing waterfall instead of an internal volcano. We are helping create a new neural pathway that will reverse the symptom when practiced and used consistently. We can further strengthen this by hypnosis that embeds the skill and reinforces the ego with the ability to develop this new mindset and behaviour.

As an example, I had a client who was successful in life in many ways but had what he called an “annoying response” to meeting new people or having to present information to an audience which he needed to do in his working life. He told me that although he did not feel nervous he would none-the-less blush and sweat profusely when he met new people or had to speak publicly. He was a happy well adjusted individual with a keen sense of humour and friendly disposition. He was successful in business and needed to talk to and meet large numbers of people. The problem was, although he did not feel anxious in any conscious way, he nevertheless blushed and sweated profusely on first meetings. I had him think of a time, any time, when he had a really strong blushing event. In this case he recalled a childhood event at school when it first happened. As he thought about it he started to redden and looked uncomfortable. He told me it was like a flow of hot energy that started in his stomach flowed up his body and head. He felt hot and began to sweat. I had him think of another time when he felt cool and relaxed and had him run that memory with all its sensory experience. I also asked him to imagine a cool blue waterfall that flowed in the opposite direction of the hot blushing feeling. He was able to do this and he did it even better in hypnosis. I taught him how to anchor and associate into this new sensory experience and had him imagine new events working out with this new waterfall and that the past was just a learnt response and now he had a new and better response.

And dear reader it came to pass that he confidently and with humour and ease presented his latest work to a room of 300 of his colleagues without any discomfort, blushing or sweating.

To my knowledge he never again had that old problem. By the use of NLP skills and understandings and the receptive state of mind genrated by the hypnotic state this man was able to overcome a difficulty that had plagued him for years.

Author's Bio: 

Matthew Ferguson SQHP (Clinical hypnotherapist, Trainer of Hypnotherapy and NLP, Stress Consultant and Authentic Happiness Coach) Matthew runs a training school in Scotland teaching Hypnotherapy, NLP and Coaching to learn more visit If you are a Facebook user please click on our Follow us on Facebook button.