How to overcome nerves when speaking in front of groups?

overcome nerves, anxiety and panic attacks when speaking to groups (public speaking)

Overcome Nerves

Are you confident in many other areas of life but there’s this one area that has you running for the door – giving a presentation, speaking in meetings, public speaking or any situation when all eyes are on you? This is also known as stage-fright.

You may also experience:

  • Rapid heartbeat (you may even have to take beta-blockers before a presentation
  • Blushing
  • Fear you’re going to get it wrong, or that other people are going to criticise your performance
  • High levels of anxiety weeks before the event (you may even make excuses and duck out of it)
  • Drying up completely, unable to think of what to say
  • So distressed that you are unable to go on with your presentation, report or meeting and have to run for the door

Perhaps you’ve been told that you need to improve your public speaking skills (overcome nerves) and that makes you feel even more self-conscious and aware of your shortcomings.

Speaking in front of a group is an absolute nightmare for many people. Particularly if you have a love-hate relationship with the spotlight, suffer from stage fright, or you avoid any kind of situation where you’re required to perform.

overcome nerves, anxiety and panic attacks when speaking to groups (public speaking)

For some people, it is experienced when out with a group of friends and in social situations or when speaking to just one person.

Many talented, quiet people experience this anxiety at work

In our communication-driven world, more and more people are being required to give presentations, speak up in meetings, network and to be more visible socially.

You are not alone.

If you are a quieter person, then it is much more likely that you will experience this acute discomfort – particularly if you are an introvert. Your introverted brain is simply not wired for dealing with all that focus.

It can feel like the world is pointing a very powerful camera at you and noticing everything you say and do. All you can focus on is the ongoing commentary going on in your head about what that camera is saying and thinking about you.  And it feels very real.

Even though there may be no evidence out there in the world that other people are saying and thinking these things, there is a part of you absolutely believes that this is happening.

It’s not fair!

It is simply not fair that introverts and shy people are required to do these nerve-wracking activities – and yet there’s no changing the current world. It’s either sink or swim.

And as a result, highly talented quieter people are often overlooked and find it hard to climb the career ladder – however hard you work. In fact, you may also find yourself being taken advantage of by your employer, and never receive the recognition you deserve.

overcome nerves, anxiety and panic attacks when speaking to groups (public speaking)

Overcome Nerves: You can Do It!

However just because you are quiet, shy or an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t excel at speaking. In fact, introverts make excellent public speakers.

It can be done and much easier than you would think. Countless shy and introverted people have triumphed over their fears. Most, however, have had to retrain their introverted brain to deal with high levels of stimulation experienced when being in the spotlight.

I did it as a shy introvert, and it has changed my life. Otherwise, I’d be still stuck on the sidelines, being over-looked, too scared to stick my head above the parapet.

It was the experience of overcoming my limitations through the power of drama that inspired me to start up Making Moves. In fact, I would never be doing the work I’m doing now if I hadn’t overcome my fear of speaking in front of groups.

I would never have become a performer or a playwright; never appeared on TV; never featured in women’s magazines; never given presentations at large events or run programmes in business for advertising professionals, CEO’s, Organizational Development Consultants and Innovators etc. I just wouldn’t have had the courage to do such challenging things.

overcome nerves, anxiety and panic attacks when speaking to groups (public speaking)

My experience of overcoming my fear of speaking in front of groups has enabled me to create courses that would put together all I had learned in a format that would enable people like you to overcome nerves  – and save you all the hard learning experiences that I went through.

And so can you. You just need a safe space to get more comfortable in the spotlight – and overcome the blocks that are creating the acute anxiety symptoms. There is no reason why you can’t achieve all the things you want to achieve in your career and personal life.

And my participants tell me, not many public speaking courses produce such significant results.

Having tried multiple variations of therapy, most of which came at a very high price, I found Claire, the course and the group, one of the most effective ways to help manage my anxiety. I find myself now, much more confident in trusting my instinct and knowing what to say…It’s been 20 years of dealing with a common thread of negative self talk so thank you Claire, for helping me shift something that once seemed impossible.
Tandy Davies, Hospitality

Thanks again for everything you have taught us over the past 12 weeks. For me it has been by far the most valuable course to help me understand and overcome my speaking fears.
Lorna Good, Finance Business Partner


My 12-week course, Finding Your Voice is specifically designed for quiet and introverted people to develop an assured self-confidence, whether it’s delivering a presentation, speaking up in meetings or when out with a group of friends.

The course provides a safe haven for you to free up your voice, to let go of inhibitions and to find your authentic voice. It is also a place where you will be able to uncover any vocal blocks and enable you to communicate with full power.

It will support you in facing your fear of being in the spotlight – so you can overcome stage fright and truly allow yourself to be seen and your voice to be heard.

It is different from other public speaking courses in that it working through  The Sunflower Effect, the highly effective confidence-building system I have developed over 20 years. My clients tell me, it is the only course that actually dissolves the nerves and anxiety that is the source of the problem. This is because it works directly with the triggers that activate the Sympathetic Nervous System. The Sunflower Effect uses an adapted form of drama to achieve this remarkable shift.  No previous experience of drama is needed.

More about the Finding Your Voice Course

Do you experience shyness, self-consciousness or social anxiety as well?

If so, you may be better to start off with the Breakthrough Group or the Express Yourself Workshop before moving onto Finding Your Voice, particularly if the prospect of doing drama is challenging.

Doing the Breakthrough Group will enable you to overcome the acute aspects of self-consciousness and the blocks that are undermining your confidence. It will also ease you a little more gently into the drama so you

Speaking Under Pressure

For some people, it is the difficulty of speaking “off the cuff” when under pressure. This is covered in this course, but we go into it in much further depth in the I Don’t Know What to Say Improvisation course. Many participants do both courses as they work very well together.

I also have a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t get anything out of the course. If you experience extreme anxiety symptoms – this is not going to shift overnight, and you may need to do some individual sessions to get to the bottom what is fuelling your symptoms. Sustained change over a period of time is what leads to long-lasting change.

Book a time to speak to me

If you’re not sure which course is right for you, you can set up a time to speak to me, (it’s free) so I can get more of a sense of what challenges you are facing, and which course will serve you better.

Book a telephone consultation with Claire