Overcome Public speaking fear and anxiety – Courses in London

Public speaking anxiety or fear of public speaking can be absolutely crippling.  But the good news is that you don’t need to live with it.


What is fear of public speaking?

Put simply, it’s the fear of being the centre of attention and being required to speak.  It can range all the way from mild anxiety at the thought of doing public speaking, all the way to full on panic, terror or phobia of public speaking (glossophobia).

If you suffer from public speaking anxiety or fear of public speaking you’re in good company.  Many surveys suggest that up to 75% of people suffer from something similar.

Why do we have a fear of public speaking?

There are 2 main issues with public speaking – one is more mental, the other is more physical.

The mental issue involves seeing a sea of blank faces looking at us and expecting us to “perform”.  In social situations our brains are wired to expect positive, reassuring cues from those we are with, and most audiences don’t give us those.  (Audience members tend to listen with blank faces even when they are interested).  This generates a fear response in most people, because our minds are programmed to assume the worst in situations like these.

The physical issue is that public speaking tends to generate a lot of adrenaline.  This surge of adrenaline is partly caused by the experience of having all eyes on us, and partly caused by our brains worrying about what might go wrong.  With the adrenaline, comes a whole raft of symptoms ranging from fast heart rate, sweaty hands, dry mouth and shakiness to having a blank mind.  Our minds then start worrying about these symptoms, which causes, you guessed it…more adrenaline!  This is an adrenaline-worry spiral, which is a really unpleasant place to be.   It can lead to us freezing in the spotlight and panicking.  And of course, this isn’t a great place to do public speaking from.

What can we do about public speaking fear?

There are some simple practical things that can be done to help you tame your fear of public speaking or your anxiety.  Here are 3 of the most helpful ones:

  1. Learn how to manage your thinking. We can’t stop our minds starting to worry about this issues associated with public speaking, but we can learn how stop our minds continuing to worry about them.
  2. Make friends with some of the uncomfortable sensations in your body. Even experienced and confident speakers get adrenaline symptoms when they speak in public.  The difference is that they have learned how to be OK with these so they don’t get out of hand.  You can learn this too.
  3. Learn how to make eye contact with your audience work for you and not against you. Believe it or not, done “correctly”, eye contact with members of your audience can actually calm you down.  The Relational Presence® method teaches you how to do just that.  As a bonus it makes you feel more connected to your audience and allows them to feel more connected with you.

It probably won’t surprise you to know that we can teach you all of these techniques and quite a few more.  You will learn them all in our Foundation Public Speaking Courses in London.

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Can your training really help me to overcome fear of public speaking?

The short answer is, almost certainly yes.  We’ve trained thousands of people over the last 10 years, and everyone who has completed our Foundation training program in London has overcome or substantially overcome their fear of public speaking or public speaking anxiety.

But don’t take our word for it, check out all the video and written testimonials on our Foundation Courses page, or click below to see our latest Google reviews. (See above or click the button below).

We’d love to help you overcome public speaking anxiety or fear of public speaking, as almost everyone who comes to work with us successfully does.


End your public speaking anxiety today.

How would you describe what we do?


Feeling connected makes all the difference

Working on your body language and speech structure when you have no connection with your audience is like polishing a car with no engine. It might look great, but it’s not going anywhere.  And of course if you are dealing with fear of public speaking or public speaking anxiety, everything else goes out of the window when you feel those symptoms.

About DanielOur principal trainer Daniel Kingsley, was trained as a barrister and started out doing public speaking using the very best traditional methods, until he discovered the vastly more effective Relational Presence® method. He discovered that when you learn how to manage your emotions and to connect authenticalluy with your audience from there, everything else seems to follow naturally.

And being able to feel that you are in a real connection with your audience is a one of the most powerful ways of overcoming public speaking anxiety or fear of public speaking.  Most people find themselves calming down almost immediately.

You may be astonished by how quickly you are able to make progress.

Our Foundation training will teach you how to:

  • Feel at ease making real eye contact with an audience
  • Be yourself and be authentic when you speak in public
  • Overcome fear of public speaking, anxiety and nerves
  • Speak in public without notes and improvise readily
  • Understand how your body language affects your confidence

Foundation attendees have commented on their surprise at how enjoyable the act of public speaking can be, attributing this to the quality of the learning, the experience of the course facilitators, and the collaborative spirit nurtured within the workshops. We think you’ll also find our public speaking courses both an enjoyable and rewarding experience.  This course offers an astonishingly fast way to overcome your fear of public speaking or public speaking anxiety.

What would you tell anyone thinking about this course?

Say goodbye to your fear of public speaking.

How the training works

Working in small groups of a maximum of 10 we teach in a “hands-on” way, with just enough input from us and plenty of opportunities for you to practice.  We’ve learned from experience that the best way for people to integrate new skills is by doing instead of listening and we’ll have you starting to take on board these new methods from the first moments of the training.  You may be surprised by how quickly your public speaking fear can melt away!  The methods we use include:

  • Individual coaching
  • Small group work
  • Large Group work
  • Feedback and Q&A sessions
  • Written handouts summarising all the main points we’ve covered
  • The opportunity to be videoed (optionally) to review your performances at home.
  • Access to a private group for graduates of the training to ask questions and share information about Presentation Skills and Public Speaking.

And, of course if you still want some help with learning to compose or structure presentations, or with writing any particular speech, we are very happy to offer you one to one coaching at any time.

Presence’s approach to public speaking is a revelation. After my first two days of training I’m inspired to keep it up and really get past this fear of public speaking, which I can now see has been holding me back in so many areas of my life. I found the training comfortable, safe and expansive.

Claire Brydon, Digital Systems Architect

Overcome your public speaking anxiety easily!


Watch this video for a taste of our unique method…

Frequently Asked Questions

The first thing to understand about public speaking anxiety is that nerves are completely normal.  Every public speaker from the most experienced to complete novices get nerves before they start to speak and at the start of a speech.  The difference is that the most experienced speakers know how to control and manage their nerves, so that they never get in the way.  We’ll teach you how to do this too.  And when you can do this with confidence, you’ll find that your public speaking anxiety starts to fade away pretty quickly.  You may even start to really enjoy public speaking!  Many of our graduates do just that.

The key to getting over a fear of public speaking or public speaking anxiety is building true confidence.  Gradually, with the right techniques and understanding, you will have a developing feeling that you will be able to handle whatever comes your way during a speech, even when you feel nervous.  On the Foundation Course we will teach you how to manage the relationship between your mind, your body and your emotions to create that genuine confidence.  Check out our 100+ Google reviews (desktop browsers only) to see how this method has really worked for hundreds of people, and has allowed them to completely overcome their fear of public speaking.

Yes.  We really can.

Believe it or not a large number of participants on our workshops are in exactly the same boat as you, feeling absolutely terrified of public speaking.  So far, we haven’t had anyone who stuck with our program who we haven’t been able to help significantly.

End your public speaking fear!

Our Top Tips for Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking and Public Speaking Anxiety

Speak to your audience One to One

Instead of facing your audience as an amorphous scary “blob”, turn your talk into a series of one to one mini-“meetings” with members of your audience.  Spend anywhere between 5 and 20 seconds with each member of your audience speaking to them naturally the way you would do a friend.  This will make you feel more connected to them, allow your audience to feel more connected to you and it will also calm down your nervous system, because it will view the 1-2-1 interaction as unthreatening and even “safe”.

Soften your eye contact

When we get nervous or anxious we tend to fixate or stare.  If we’re doing public speaking we will tend get “tunnel vision” and start fixating on individual audience members and starting to worry about what they are thinking of us.  The good news is that by deliberately softening our eye contact we can reverse this process, making us actually feel more relaxed on the inside and causing us to worry less about what others are thinking.  It seems almost too simple to work, yet this in itself is an amazingly powerful technique.

Ride the wave of adrenaline using “…and it’s OK”

Adrenaline in public speaking simply goes with the territory – it’s a natural part of the experience.  The question is whether you are making it work for you or whether it is working against you.  When it’s working for you it can be like a super-power – sharpening your senses and increasing your concentration.  But for many people it works against them because they are worrying about the sensations that go with adrenaline, such as a fast heart rate or a dry mouth.  This sends them into a vicious circle because the worrying causes additional adrenaline.  And on a bad day that can lead to panicking.  The antidote to this is again surprisingly simple – to adopt an attitude of making friends with these symptoms.  An easy way of doing this is by saying “…and it’s OK” to ourselves in our heads as we notice them.  E.g. “My heart’s beating quickly…and it’s OK”, “My mouth is dry…and it’s OK”.  It’s like a more adult part of ourselves is reassuring the child-like worried part that these symptoms are normal and are not problematic in themselves.  This breaks the cycle of worrying and stops the adrenaline getting out of control, allowing us to harness the focus it gives us to be better and more confident speakers.

Feel your feet

One of the things that causes or exacerbates fear of public speaking is worrying about what our audience is thinking about us.  In other words getting “stuck in our heads”.  A very simple way of starting to counteract this is to give our minds something else to do.  A really easy way of doing this is by concentrating on neutral or comfortable sensations in our bodies.  The easiest example of this is simply feeling our feet on the ground and noticing the sensation.  In the moment that you are actively paying attention to this sensation you are not worrying – you’re busy feeling it and this immediately “dilutes” the experience of worrying, making it feel much less problematic.  Once you’ve got good at doing that you can add feeling other body sensations such as feeling your hands or your spine.  Amazingly the more of these sensations you include, the less your mind will be worrying.  And if you can include enough of them the worrying will often stop completely.

Slow Down

When we get nervous we tend to speak faster – this happens to everyone.  The good news is that by deliberately slowing down the speed of our speaking we can actually calm ourselves down.  You don’t need to slow your speech to a snails pace – simply take 10%-15% off your speed of speaking and deliberately include a few more pauses and you’ll immediately notice a positive effect.

Take a 4/8 Breath

When we feel nervous or anxious our bodies enter a fight/flight mode (activation of the parasympathetic nervous system).  We can counteract this by activating the parasympathetic nervous system using our breathing.  The easiest way of doing this is by taking one or more breaths where the out-breath is twice as long as the in-breath.   Breathe in through your nose right down into your belly (it doesn’t need to be a big breath but it needs to be “deep” enough to make your belly expand and do this for a count of 4.  Then breathe out through your mouth as slowly as you can for a count of at least 8, as you feel your feet on the ground.  You can even make your mouth into a tiny slit to slow down the rate at which the breath comes out.  You can take anywhere between 1 and 4 of these 4-8 breaths.  (Don’t take more than 8 as this will usually be counterproductive.  You usually won’t need more than 4 to notice a big difference).  Once you’ve done this, simply let your breathing return to normal – you should notice this has really taken the edge of the nerves and adrenaline.

Adopt an Attitude of Service

Instead of asking or worrying “will they like my talk?” or “how will I do?” ask yourself a different question – “How can I be of service to my audience”?  Or “What benefit would I like them to get from my presentation?”  By focussing on what you’d like to give to them or what you’d love for them to receive, it stops you worrying about yourself and gets you concentrating on what really matters – delivering something of value to your audience.  This is an apparently small shift that can make all the difference both to you and those you are speaking to.

Realise that it’s normal!

In some ways this could be our number 1 tip.  Most people believe that it’s only them who has a challenge with public speaking or that there is something wrong with them.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Human beings evolved for 1-2-1 interaction.  We weren’t designed to find public speaking easy!  The good news is that with the tips above (plus some more great techniques that we’ll teach you on our workshops) it’s possible to get to a place where public speaking becomes a very  possible and even (dare we say it) an enjoyable thing to do.  But the first step is to recognise that it isn’t meant to start off as easy.  There’s nothing wrong with you!


Say goodbye to public speaking anxiety!


The Science behind our method to help people overcome Fear of Public Speaking and Public Speaking Anxiety

The foundation of our unique method starts with eye contact.  Not just fleeting “lip-service” eye contact, but real eye contact where you see the individuals you are speaking to as real human beings and you allow them to see you.

We know from our experience that this transforms the relationship between you and the audience, but many people are interested to know the science that explains why.  The answers are interesting.

Feel calmer, in control and more creative.

According to Professor Stephen Porges, author of the Polyvagal Theory – The Neurophysical Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communiation and Self-Regulation, extended easy-going eye contact activates the “Social Engagement System”, which via the vagus cranial nerve acts as a break on the fight or flight sympathetic nervous system.  Once this system is activated people feel more relaxed, safer, are more relational and more creative.  This is one of the keys to overcoming fear of public speaking and public speaking anxiety.

Increase your audience trust

Research by Jozien Bensing with GPs found that GPs who made significant amounts of eye contact with their patients had greater patient satisfaction and found that their patients had reduced anxiety and an increased willingness to disclose symptoms to their practitioner.

Not only does our powerful method work with eye contact, but we also encourage and teach use of “Open Focus” attention of the speaker on the audience.

Reduce your stress and increase performance.

Research by Dr Lester Fehmi of the Princeton Biofeedback Institute over the past 20 years suggests that such open focus attention methods not only reduces stress but also increase concentration and performance.

We can tell you lots more about the science, but of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating – check out our written and video testimonials throughout this website for details of how lots of people like you have benefited from our training.

Public Speaking Anxiety

Overcome your fear of public speaking easily!

So if we have intrigued you and you’d like to know more on how you can overcome public speaking anxiety or fear of public speaking, contact us for a free consultation, or download our free guide to authentic public speaking.