Interview: Resolving Public Speaking Anxiety with Jonathan Berent, L.C.S.W., A.C.S.W

Jonathan Berent Jonathan Berent, L.C.S.W. has pioneered treatment for performance and social anxiety since 1978. A certified psychotherapist, he has worked with thousands of individuals of all ages in individual, group, and family psychotherapy. He has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “Sally Jessy Raphael”, “Joan Rivers”, “CNN Medical News” and many other TV and radio shows.

His Social Anxiety website is a premier resource for resolving social anxiety disorder. A primary area he addresses is public speaking anxiety. His proven methodology channels anxiety into high performance. He resolves the emotions of embarrassment, shame, and humiliation that many who are anxious about public speaking suffer.

We interviewed Mr. Berent to learn more about the issue and his solution.

Terror in the C-Suite

There are successful C-Suite executives who admit they’d rather get into a car accident on the way to a conference than show up and face the crowd for their presentation. One real estate executive who easily closed $3 billion deals fell into a state of terror when faced with talking about this to a group of students on career day. Panic at the podium—and embarrassment over the obvious symptoms—is debilitating for many executives and entrepreneurs and can include symptoms such as erythrophobia (Fear of Blushing), hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating) and voice paralysis.

Fear of public speaking is not simply an inconvenience; it’s an income inhibitor, career killer, and an insidious anxiety disorder that most mental health and medical professionals do not understand.

More than a quarter of the population reports a fear of public speaking, according to a recent Chapman University survey of American’s top fears. While countless programs attack the problem on the surface through coaching, skill building and practice, almost none focus on the underlying causes.

Practical Steps

Work Makes Me Nervous - CoverThe good news is that you don’t have to suffer this unwelcome anxiety anymore. His book, Work Makes Me Nervous, empowers people to transform  stress into positive energy using an evidence-based, step-by-step method. This down-to-earth resource combines practical psychological techniques and exercises with real-life stories. He explains how everyone from entry-level workers to seasoned executives and famous sports and media figures have encountered and successfully dealt with workplace anxiety—and how you can too.

If you, or anyone you know, suffer from anxiety about public speaking, I highly recommend this book. As he says “Don’t wait! The time to change is now!”

To hear more about the issues he’s encountered in over 40 years of clinical practice, treating over 10,000 patients, and the steps you can take, click on the podcast icon below.

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