Fear of Public Speaking | Stage Fright | Performance Nerves | Manchester City Centre

Fear of Public Speaking, Stage Fright, Performance Anxiety

Nigel is an experienced Manchester Psychotherapist, who uses a combination of psychotherapy/counselling, CBT, EMDR, NLP, Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnotherapy to help people overcome their fear of public speaking and other anxiety-related issues.

Online public speaking anxiety therapy is also available via Zoom

To book an appointment, or to make an enquiry, call 07463 542368 or Click here to email

What is Public Speaking Phobia and Performance Anxiety?
Symptoms of Public Speaking Anxiety?
What are panic attacks?
What treatment is available?
How to book the treatment?

What is Fear of Public Speaking?

Also called public speaking fear, public speaking phobia,  stage fright, presentation anxiety, performance anxiety, and public speaking anxiety. In different surveys, the fear of public speaking is frequently rated as the leading fear. Amazingly a lot of people will rank the fear of public speaking above the fear of death.

Someone encountering public speaking anxiety is experiencing the effects of the ‘fight or flight’ response. The fight or flight response is our mind and bodies natural reaction to a perceived threat. The perceived threat itself could be physical or psychological in nature. (e.g. making a scene, looking foolish, not being liked or accepted, appearing inadequate, possible bodily injury etc.)

Fear of Public Speaking | Panic attacks | anxiety | manchester city centre | CBT | psychotherapy | counselling | hypnotherapy manchester

Whenever it is initiated, stress hormones are released within your body to make it possible for you to either cope with or flee from the threatening situation. The impact of the fight or flight reaction include an acceleration in our heart rate to supply blood much faster to the lungs, muscles, as well as brain itself. We breath much more rapidly to increase our oxygen levels, our muscles tighten ready for action, and many functions not necessary for fighting or escaping, such as for example digestion or reproduction, decrease or even stop.

It is important to realise that all anxiety including fear of public speaking starts with our thoughts, and it is our brain that then stimulates the release of the various stress hormones. It is the negative thoughts we have about what is happening in the environment around us, or other people who are there, or our own bodily sensations, or even thoughts about our own thoughts that will start the anxiety response within our body, and keep it going.

In some ways our minds and bodies can’t tell the difference between the thoughts about a situation and the situation itself. Therefore by simply thinking negatively,worrying, or ‘what if’-ing about an upcoming presentation, speech or performance, you are activating the fight or flight response in much the same way as if you were actually experiencing it in reality.

Due to the way anxiety functions, you often can’t fight it head-on. Like most people you’ve probably tried that already and failed. In fact the more you fight and try to control the anxiety, the worse it often gets! Could you imagine just how useful it would be for you to learn new and different ways to think and react so that your fears just faded away and no longer seemed a problem?

When you are committed to make the inner changes you need to control your anxiety, simply phone me on 07463 542368 or Click here to email to make an appointment now. If you can’t travel to me then I am also available for online therapy, counselling and coaching.

Symptoms of fear of public speaking / public speaking anxiety / performance anxiety may include:

Breathing difficulties

Tight-ness in the throat

Frequent urination


Chest pain

Sweating hands

Difficulties Sleeping


Neck ache

Rashes which are unexplained


Feeling Dissociated

Aching jaw

Fear of having a heart attack

Tingling sensation


Sensation of Choking

Feeling hot


Pins and needles

Fear of making a fool of self

Fear of losing control

Fear of going insane

Fear of dying

Churning/burning stomach

Muscle pain

Sensitivity to light/sound

Tense Muscles

Excessive sweating

Feeling Light-headed

Extreme Exhaustion

Poor concentration

Feeling detached from the body


Digestive issues

Loss of libido

Pounding heart


Short-term memory loss

Fear of embarrassment

Ice cold feeling

Hot prickly feeling

NOTE: If you are suffering from any of the above physical symptoms then do discuss them with a doctor first to rule out any potential physical causes.

When you are committed to make the inner changes you need to control your anxiety, simply phone me on 07463 542368 or Click here to email to make an appointment now.


Common situations which often provoke public speaking and performance anxiety include:

  • Wedding Speeches
  • Presentations
  • Meetings
  • Interviews
  • Exams
  • Acting Auditions and Performances
  • Musical Performances
  • Speaking on the telephone
  • Being put on the spot
  • Centre of attention

When you are committed to make the inner changes you need to control your public speaking anxiety, simply phone me on 07463 542368 or Click here to email to make an appointment now.

Panic Attacks

Psychotherapy and counselling for Public speaking anxiety and stage fright in ManchesterA panic attack may also be experienced as part of the public speaking anxiety or performance anxiety and is an intense rush of very uncomfortable physical symptoms such as shortness of breath,  increased heart rate, lightheadedness, nausea, inability to concentrate, and confusion. Which is coupled with negative thoughts about the situation (e.g. making a scene, looking foolish, not being liked or accepted, having a heart attack, not being able to breathe etc.).

Symptoms of panic attacks can include palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, sensations of shortness of breath or smothering, feeling of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or abdominal distress, dizziness or light-headedness, derealisation or depersonalisation, fear of losing control or going ‘crazy’, fear of dying, paresthesia, and chills or hot flushes.

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The Public Speaking and Performance Anxiety Treatment in Manchester

The treatment is available at the Manchester practices is custom made for your unique requirements, so the exact form of treatment and number of sessions will vary from person to person depending on your needs, the severity of the problem and any other complicating factors. Most people will usually need as little as 6 to 12 one hour short-term sessions. For more deep-rooted, long-term or complex problems, more sessions may be required.

Confident Public Speaking |  Public speaking counselling in Manchester | Photograph by Rachael Magowan Event Photography Manchester

©Rachael Magowan Photography

The overall aim of this process is to help you to experience a deep permanent change in how you think and feel about public speaking or performances. Which will then allow you to feel more comfortable and at ease, and even enjoy situations which used to cause you anxiety and fear. During the process we will address whatever issues need to be dealt with to enable you to overcome your anxiety and fear.

The treatment process itself is sensitive, confidential, respectful and non-judgemental. I have had personal experience of overcoming anxieties, and therefore hope I can fully understand and empathise with what you’re going through every step of the way.

Examples of some commonly dealt with issues:

  • Changing limiting beliefs and building powerful empowering beliefs.
  • Disassembling of the negative feedback loops, and self-reinforcing and self-sustaining aspects of the public speaking anxiety.
  • Changing your perceptions of others, and what you think they think of you.
  • Change what you feel about yourself and your abilities.
  • Building your self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.
  • Emotional state management.
  • Learning to relax/ground/centre yourself so you can stay more in the moment.
  • Positively changing your perceptions of past events and future worries.

My Own Anxiety Research:

Many years ago I completed a research project modelling the thought processes of several successful performers. At the time I was terrified of any sort of public speaking or performance and was very curious to find out how some people could remain so calm and comfortable in front of large groups. After interviewing the performers, I contrasted and compared their thought processes and behaviours, and distilled the information collected into a process that could be taught, with some guidance, to others like yourself. Through working with many clients over the years that followed, I have expanded and refined this process further and it now forms the basis for my successful work with performance anxiety and public speaking fears.

Overcome Public Speaking Phobia treatment in Manchester | Wedding Speech

©Rachael Magowan Photography

The therapy combines my own research with a wide variety of therapeutic processes, including but not limited to Psychotherapy, Counselling, CBT, EMDR, Gestalt Therapy, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Mindfulness, Life Coaching and Stress Management which are generally individually acknowledged as effective approaches to help people change behaviours and perceptions, and I am certain you could begin to imagine the benefits of integrating these beneficial approaches.  Enabling you to easily and relatively quickly alter your thoughts, emotions and behaviours that you presently have regarding public speaking and performances. So you just find yourself changing in helpful ways.

I am a professional and experienced UKCP Accredited and Registered Psychotherapist.  I use a combination of psychotherapy/counselling, CBT, EMDR, NLP, Clinical Hypnotherapy and Life Coaching.  I integrate all my skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your unique needs. So that together we can work to help you to change in the quickest and easiest ways possible.

When you are committed to making the inner changes you need to control your fear of public speaking, simply phone me on 07463 542368 or Click here to email to make an appointment now. If you can’t travel to me then I am also available for online therapy for public speaking anxiety.

(See the consultation fees page for prices and discounts.)

What this treatment is not: The treatment is not just a list of coping strategies, quick fixes, tips or tricks about public speaking. Nor is the treatment a ‘magical secret’ technique that can be applied in seconds, that will somehow mysteriously and miraculously cure you instantly of a lifetimes worth of anxiety without any effort. You can find that sort of ridiculous overhyped product and information on a thousand other websites, and may even have wasted good money and time on them without any real or lasting success. In those cases the old adage holds true ‘If something seems to good to be true then it probably is.’

In reality: There are rarely any instant fixes or magical cures, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t change, or that change is hard or takes a long time. All that is really required to change, is a little bit of commitment to your own personal growth, taking ownership of your issues, putting in some effort for a few weeks, and getting some helpful and realistic guidance from someone who genuinely has considerable professional and personal experience with anxieties. Before you realise it you’ll be surprising yourself with what you are capable of doing.

When considering the rest of your life, what value do you place on your well-being?

When you are committed to making the inner changes you need to control your anxiety, simply phone me on 07463 542368 or Click here to email to make an appointment now.

Booking is easy

NOTE: Before booking it is very important that you get any physical symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or doctor to rule out any physical problems.

I recommend booking an Initial Consultation first. This gives us the chance to begin to explore your issues and your requirements further, give you honest answers to any questions you might have and give you a realistic estimate of the number of sessions you may require.

When you are ready to make the inner changes you need, simply phone me on 07463 542368 or Click here to email to make an appointment now.

I offer online scheduling for appointments in Manchester


I practice from an office in Manchester City Centre near Piccadilly Gardens and the Northern Quarter. Within easy travelling distance of most areas of Greater Manchester.  If you can’t travel to me then I am also available for online therapy, counselling and coaching.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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Consultation Fees

Session fees are paid at the time of booking.

You may pay by cash, Debit Card, credit card or online. I no longer accept cheques.

Cost when paying per session:

See the consultation fees page for session prices and discounts.


Corporate Work

My services can also be combined and tailored to your group or corporate needs, and range from EAP (Employee Assistance Programme – one to one therapy, counselling or coaching sessions) through to bespoke group training, workshops, and outdoor activities and retreats.

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Nigel Magowan, Psychotherapy Manchester Psychotherapist, EMDR, IFS, NLP Manchester Life Coach | Help with public speaking

Nigel Magowan
UKCP Registered and Accredited Integrative Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist, Life Coach, Licensed NLP Master Practitioner, Ecotherapist, UKCP Accredited Supervisor and Clinical Hypnotherapist

Member of the Society of NLP | Public Speaking Anxiety Manchester | Wedding Speech | Stage Fright Manchester  

Clients come to me from all over the North West of England, see below for a list of areas covered:

Greater Manchester: Manchester City Centre ~ Chorlton ~ Didsbury ~ Fallowfield ~ Eccles ~ Irlam ~ Salford ~ Worsley ~ Levenshulme ~ Withington West Didsbury ~ Whalley Range

North Trafford: Stretford ~ Urmston.

South Trafford: Altrincham ~ Sale ~ Timperley

Stockport:  Bredbury ~ Brinnington ~ Cheadle ~  Gatley ~ Heaton Moor ~ Heaton Norris ~ Heaton Chapel ~ Heaton Mersey ~ Hazel Grove ~ Marple

Cheshire: Alderley Edge ~ Knutsford ~ Tatton ~ Wilmslow ~ Lymm ~ Dunham Massey ~ Congleton ~ Macclesfield ~ Mobberley ~ Frodsham

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Offers help with fear of public speaking, public speaking anxiety, stage fright and performance nerves in the Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire area.

Therapy Services

Integrative Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Trauma-Informed Therapy
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
AF-EMDR (Attachment-Focused EMDR)
Somatic Therapy
Clinical Supervision
DBT Skills
Life Coaching
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Ericksonian Hypno-psychotherapy
Online Therapy via Zoom / Skype
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
Open Public Workshops
Corporate Workshops and Training
Closed Group Ecotherapy Workshops
Ecotherapy / Nature-based Therapy
Outdoor Nature-therapy Retreats

Contact Details

Nigel Magowan
UKCP Registered and Accredited Psychotherapist
Registered Member of the BACP
EMDR Therapist
UKCP Approved Clinical Supervisor
Accredited Therapist Member of Anxiety UK

New address:

Nigel Magowan t/as
Inner Changes Psychotherapy
Piccadilly House
49 Piccadilly
M1 2AP
Website: www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk
Email: enquiries@manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk
Phone: 07463 542368 (Manchester City Centre)

Opening hours:
11am – 7:30pm, Monday – Friday

Payment accepted by debit/credit card, direct bank transfer, PayPal, cash or medical health insurance.

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