In today's business world, one of the most important skills we can posses is the ability to present our ideas in a clear, concise manner in order to inspire, educate and persuade others. Even if you think that your job doesn't require you to make speeches, just stop to often do you need to communicate your ideas to at least one other person? Your boss? Your co-workers? Your suppliers? Life is really a series of "mini-presentations" and the sad part is that most of us are uncomfortable speaking to a group, no matter how large or small.

The percentages vary, but studies have shown that the vast majority of people rank public speaking as their #1 fear. In fact most people fear public speaking even more than they fear death. (I guess that's because after you die you don't have to worry about the feedback you'll get from others.) Did you ever wonder why this is true? When you think about it, speaking in front of a group brings up a lot of the basic fears that many of us developed in the first six years of our life. Fear of criticism. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear that we're not good enough. Fear that we won't be liked or accepted.

In his book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton shows that most of our beliefs were programmed into us during the first six years of life. He states that during that time, our brain waves are at the same frequency as someone who is in a hypnotic trance, so the beliefs of influential people in our lives were programmed directly into our unconscious without passing through our conscious, reasoning mind. The problem is that we are trying to use our adult conscious mind to make behavioral changes without changing the programming that we received up to age six.

So when you get up in front of an audience to speak, all of your old beliefs rear their ugly heads. And no matter how much you try (using willpower, self-talk, deep breathing, imagining that the audience is in their underwear) your programmed beliefs (or in this case, deep-seated fears) take over. The result? The five-year old you (the one who forgot his lines in the Kindergarten play) is now essentially giving the speech for you. No wonder you have butterflies in your stomach!

Is there a way to overcome these old fears once and for all and become the confident, dynamic public speaker that you were meant to be? The answer is, "Yes." Fortunately, there are many alternatives available today to help remove your fears. Unfortunately, most of them take a long time and usually don't address the fears at the level where they are stored, in your body's energy system.

Enter EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). As a dedicated student of the self-development field for the past twenty-five years, I am always on the lookout for new developments in the area of personal growth. And two years ago, I first learned about EFT from two of the featured experts from the move The Secret, Bob Doyle and Dr. Joe Vitale, who both highly endorsed EFT as an effective tool for clearing our resistance to success. "Hmmmm," I said to myself. "This is very interesting. I have GOT to check this out." So I went to the website for The World Center for EFT at Wow! Was I impressed with what I saw...videos, articles, testimonials, all of which showed how EFT successfully treated not just fears but full-blown phobias and traumas (including veterens suffering from PTSD), physical pains, illnesses, you name it! I knew I had to learn more about this amazing technique, so I downloaded the free training manual from the website, purchased the training DVDs and have been reading everything I can get my hands on about EFT ever since.

Gary Craig, the founder of EFT, says it best, "Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is an emotional, needle free version of acupuncture that is based on new discoveries regarding the connection between your body's subtle energies, your emotions, and your health. EFT has been reported successful in thousands of cases covering a huge range of emotional, health and performance issues. It often works where nothing else will." He goes on to say, "EFT provides an easy-to-use bridge between two well known healing concepts: (1) Meridian based therapies such as acupuncture & acupressure wherein the stimulation of certain points on the body provide healing benefits and (2) Mind-Body therapies wherein achieving proper mental and emotional states points to enhanced health. EFT blends both of these disciplines into one procedure and this may explain why the reported benefits are often so impressive."

It is human nature to be skeptical about a new healing technique like this, especially one that has you tap on various parts of your upper body while stating your problem out loud over and over again. But I assure you that EFT has tons of scientific research behind it. I highly recommend that you take some time to learn more about EFT on Gary Craig's website at Gary has graciously made his material available to the general public at no cost. Make sure you obtain his free Getting Started Kit, which includes the training manual and a subscription to his EFT Insights Newsletter.

As a sales and training professional who has done a lot of public speaking in my career, I immediately thought of how EFT could be used to help other professionals become confident speakers by removing their unconscious fears and limiting beliefs. I have built my coaching practice around using EFT to help people overcome this debilitating fear, once and for all. As a long time member of Toastmasters International, I worked with people who came to our club in order to overcome the sheer terror they felt about doing public speaking. So I can attest to the fact that there is nothing more gratifying than seeing someone go from being a "deer in the headlights" to becoming a confident, self-assured speaker. If you are tired of letting your old fears hold your success hostage, I encourage you to give EFT a try.

Author's Bio: 

With a 30-year business career that includes sales, management and training, Bill Reidy is now helping professionals and small business owners get the edge they need to compete in today's challenging business environment. By using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Bill helps people overcome three of the most common fears that professionals face today: fear of public speaking, fear of making cold calls and fear of attending networking events.
You can visit Bill's website at