I'm at desperation point. I just got promoted to a position of management in a big company which involves a lot of presentations to upper management and directors and the thought freaks me out. I should be delighted with the new job and while I know I can do the job, it's the public speaking side cripples me. I actually want to leave my job. How I've gotten here after 10 years in a company was through avoidance and delegating but now..... There is no more hiding. I'm sick to the stomach knowing first big presentation is in 2 weeks. I'm trying hypnosis- positive reinforcement etc. But am at my wits end. I had a horrific first experience last Monday- in front of directors had to give a brief update and shook -bottled it and had to actually stop. Mortified. Somebody else had to take over. Cue me curled up in the foetal position that evening so so upset.
I don't know what to do.
I've just joined toastmasters too to try and help.
I wish I had the secret key to turn off my head and just deliver the presentation.
Any advice welcomed.
ant12345678910 ant12345678910
36-40, F
1 Response Jun 1, 2014

It saddens me to know that others are struggling to the degree that I am on this issue, but I find relief in knowing I am not alone.
I am sorry you are dealing with this, you can't imagine how much I relate.

My entire adult life has been avoiding career opportunities most would have jumped on because I knew I would (or might even just possibly, eventually) face presenting. It's gotten so severe that if I know I have to read something, even something brief, (while sitting no less!) in a group I will not participate. It is a deep, quiet, alienating, secret pain I have struggled with for years.

I wish you luck and all my support. I have heard good things about ToastMasters, have you found that has helped you? I think it would serve us both to find the root of the problem (psychotherapy) and a balanced, educated process in overcoming it once and for all (cognitive therapy).
I have also heard that a small amount of the drug propranolol has helped many through having to present. As a recovering addict, the idea of that makes me nervous- but it might be of use to you!
Again I wish you luck on your journey. You're not alone!