Tapping Therapy: Fear of Public Speaking

Public Speaking Anxiety in Oral or Written Tests and Exams

In this video blog, I go through a complete tapping session on releasing the fear of public speaking (oral tests or exams.)

Public speaking anxiety is the focus of this demonstration yet I know that students often have great anxiety about oral and written exams and tests. This process can be used for these anxieties. Tapping Therapy can relieve exam fear.

How to do Tapping Therapy

  • identify the negative emotion (for example, you become very afraid thinking about standing in front of people and presenting a speech or completing an oral exam)
  • chart the intensity you are feeling on a scale of 0-10
  • address psychological reversal
  • tap the meridian points as directed – use this blog as a verbal guide

When you tap, be gentle all you are doing is wiggling blocked energy free from particular points on the body. Tapping loosens the flow of emotion – unclogs it.

  • assess the change in negative emotional intensity
  • if negative emotion is at 0 you are done with this particular aspect of the fear
    if not,
  • repeat the tapping process again
  • assess the change in negative emotional intensity
  • if negative emotion is at 0 you are done with this particular aspect of the fear
    if not,
  • repeat the tapping process until reaching 0 (zero)


Aspects are described as any more issues, memories, fearful imaginings related to public speaking, oral tests or exams that you can imagine or think of when considering public speaking.

Once you have tapped out the original fear, address all the aspects. First list them and tap each of them separately, as directed above.

Until now you have been tapping about the past or an imagined situation. Even with all of your preparation, you may still encounter fear when faced with the real public speaking situation. When this occurs, notice how you feel as you go to the speaking situation and tap it out.

Let me know how this works for you! Enjoy being free of this fear of public speaking

Peace to you

Read Transcript:

Show »

Welcome. I’m Ellen Sutherland and we are being spiritual.

We are carrying on today with tapping and this time we are actually going to do an abbreviated session.

I thought I would choose public speaking from what I have heard and what the data shows, people report being more afraid of speaking publicly than they are of dying. So it would be kind of a good thing to tap out…what do you think?

Here we go. I am just going to go through the process with you – the abbreviated process. We will see how we do.

Identify the Emotion:

The first thing that is really important is to think about what you have a negative feeling about (identify it.) In this case your fear. Think about your fear. Because we have chosen an event in the future, it will be a projected feeling, so you will have to imagine. Imagine how you will feel when you are standing on the podium, in front of your peers, speaking. You just put yourself there; think about it.

Intensity Scale:

Then take a scale from 0 to 10 and plot yourself on that scale, it is the intensity scale. How intense is your feeling? If you think about standing up and you are really afraid of standing up in front of people and speaking speaking, it might be a 9 out of 10. Its a big huge feeling. That’s fine, that is your subjective idea of how it feels. Perfect.

So hold that intensity scale number in your mind. Dial in (focus) on what you are feeling.

Psychological Reversal:

Then next thing you do is to deal with psychological reversal. Psychological reversal literally means that you have beliefs in the back of your mind (subconscious) – that you have fears that say, this simple thing called tapping therapy won’t work or this is too easy; nothing ever changes; this is the way I’ve always been…some belief that is tucked back in mind for example, “It takes a long, long time to get rid of something.” Whatever the belief is does not really matter but you need to address it, acknowledge it, and psychological reversal is part of this procedure that addresses it.

What you do is you tap here on the karate chop point, the point where if you were in karate you would use to chop a piece of wood in half. Right on the side of the hand.

As you tap there you say, “Even though I am really afraid of speaking publicly…” so you state your fear. “Even though I am really afraid of speaking publicly, I accept that that is the way it is for me.”

You stand in the truth of the way it is for you (before you tap it away) the truth of you feeling at the present moment. “Even though I am really afraid of public speaking, I accept myself. Even though I am really afraid of speaking publicly, I deeply and profoundly accept myself.

Use some variation of saying that you accept yourself, when stating the truth that you are afraid or sad or you are upset or you are angry, or whatever the negative feeling happens to be.

So it is very important that you dial in to the feeling and that you state it while tapping on this particular meridian (karate chop point) that you accept yourself. You are not resisting or fighting how you are feeling. You are not lying, “Oh I feel that I’m not afraid anymore,” you are not lying like that, you are saying you are afraid and, I accept myself. It is most important to do that to undo or address psychological reversal.

Then you tap on the tapping points that I went over with you in the last session and we will go over them again.

Tapping Procedure: 

  • Tap the eyebrow point (approximately 7 times) and say, “This fear of public speaking.” 
  • Side of the eye, “This fear of public speaking.” 
  • Under the eye, “My fear of public speaking.” 
  • Under the nose, “My fear of public speaking.” 
  • Chin, “My fear of public speaking.” 
  • All the while, dialed in on that fear feeling. 
  • Collarbone, “My fear of public speaking.” 
  • Under the arm, “My fear of public speaking.” 
  • and Top of the head, “My fear of public speaking.” 

Assessing the Change:

Take a deep breath. Again, pull up the scenario of standing in front of the podium, in front of your peers. Check your intensity. Is it still a 9? Sometimes it can increase because you really have dialed in as you tapped through it; you really focused on that intense fear. Sometimes the intensity stays the same because you have not quite managed to focus on what it is you are afraid of. You haven’t quite dialed in.

Often it will drop, sometimes completely so you cannot feel the fear feeling any longer. That is called a one minute wonder. More often than not, it will drop significantly. If your intensity was a 9, it might go down to a 5. You still feel it, but the intensity is significantly different.

Repeat Tapping

Go back to your intensity scale. Imagine yourself standing at the podium again. You have completed one round. You have knocked the feeling intensity down to a 5. But 5 is not good enough. In this work you are aiming for no more intense feeling; no more negative feelings about standing in front of people and speaking. You are still a 5 so now you tap:

  • Tap the eyebrow point (approximately 7 times) and say, “This remaining feeling.” 
  • Side of the eye, “This remaining fear.” 
  • Under the eye, “This remaining feeling.” 
  • Under the nose, “This remaining fear.” 
  • Chin, “This remaining feeling of public speaking.” 
  • stay dialed in (on that fear feeling.) 
  • Collarbone, “This remaining fear of public speaking.” 
  • Under the arm, “My remaining fear; I’m holding on to remaining fear of public speaking.” 
  • and Top of the head, “This remaining fear.” 

Reassess the Change:

Take a deep breath and notice. Notice. Has (the intensity) moved down? Has it stayed the same? Again, if it has stayed the same, you haven’t quite dialed in on it. There is some kind of resistance to focusing in on it (the feeling of fear.) Has it changed?

It may be down to a 2 or just a little bit. It doesn’t matter that it is just a little bit, it is still there.

Focus in on whatever feeling is left over. Imagine yourself standing at the podium, in front of your peers, trying to say your speech; focus on that feeling. We want that (leftover) feeling.

Repeat Tapping

  • Tap the eyebrow point (approximately 7 times) and say, “This feeling I’m holding onto.” 
  • Side of the eye, “This leftover fear.” 
  • Under the eye, “This remaining feeling.” 
  • Under the nose, “This remaining feeling.” 
  • Chin, “This leftover feeling.” 
  • Collarbone, “This feeling I am holding onto.” 
  • Under the arm, “This feeling that doesn’t seem to want to let go.” 
  • and Top of the head, “This remaining feeling. I can just release and let it all go.” 

Deep breathe. Often you will feel like sighing or have a sense of loving or good feeling come up when it is at a 0.

It usually takes only a few rounds to get rid of the first part of it (your fear). What we did was we imagined standing at the podium doing a speech. As you know, in university, in college, in high school, during your oral exams, you stand in front of peers you need to present your ideas coherently and well and organized, and so you need to have oxygen going to the brain and not be stressed out. This is what this tapping will offer you: the release from that dilemma


There may be many parts to this fear. You may have a memory of going to public school making a fool of yourself, as you imagine, making a fool of yourself in public school. In order to deal with the memory, I would focus on that memory, do the intensity scale, 0 -10 and that memory may be a 9 or a 10, that horrible memory of being embarrassed in front of everyone. (Because of it) You never thought you could ever speak in public again. With that memory you would tap it out just the same:

Karate Chop: “Even though I am remembering this awful time in my life, when I was totally embarrassed; totally centered out; made a fool of myself, I deeply and profoundly accept myself.

“Even though I remember that time when I was totally embarrassed, I was just an idiot. I accept that that is the way it was for me.”

“Even though I remember this awful time in my life. I never want to have to speak publicly again but here I am having to do it, I accept that that is the way it is for me right now.”

  • Tap the eyebrow point (approximately 7 times) and say, “This memory.” 
  • Side of the eye, “This horrible memory.” 
  • Under the eye, “This memory of being a fool.” 
  • Under the nose, “This memory of embarrassment.” 
  • Chin, “This horrible memory.” 
  • Collarbone, “This horrible public speaking memory.” 
  • Under the arm, “This memory of public speaking.” 
  • and Top of the head, “This memory that won’t let go.” 


Take a deep breath. Notice how you feel and often it will drop; it will be different.

That is the way you go through them (the aspects.) There may be a memory, or two or three or four, just go through them. How long did it take us, a few minutes.

Go through the projected situations, what (you fear) is going to happen in the future and you may also need to do a dry run or a trial run. You go up to the place you are going to speak and as you walk up (to where you are going to speak,) if you become anxious, you stop there do your process, do the procedure, do the intensity scale, do the psychological reversal, tap through until you are at zero. It only takes moments. Go into the washroom and tap if you do not want to do it publicly, then stand on the podium if you can or get as close to the situation as possible.

Time taken?

So what are we talking about? Maybe, maybe at max 45 minutes of work, for a lifetime of freedom. That is what tapping therapy can offer you. I hope it is helpful.

Peace to you. 

About ellen

Ellen Sutherland shares her work through her sites: http://www.beingspiritual.com, http://www.ellensutherland.com and her book: "At Your Heart's Pace",
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8 Responses to Tapping Therapy: Fear of Public Speaking

  1. Angela Scott says:

    Yes, public speaking scares me to death. I hate it. I really do. It scares me to the point of actually getting headaches before hand. So I’m going to go through the process and hope it works. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sagi says:

    Shoot, who would have thought that it was that easy?

  3. Justice says:

    Good point. I hadn’t thought about it quite that way. 🙂

  4. An entire industry has developed around the simple skill of public speaking. Studies have shown that public speaking is more feared than death by most Americans. Of course, the greatest fear must be of public speaking to death, that would combine the worst of all evils. Why are most Americans so afraid of public speaking?

    • ellen says:

      Yes an entire industry to undo this fear…I believe the fear stems from fear of judgement…as you release your self judgement it is amazing how this general fear of being judged diminishes. Best thing to do is make a list of all your fears and tap each one…takes a few moments…gives great freedom.

  5. Stephanie Edwards says:

    I have heard of tapping theory, and finally decided to check it out. I came upon your website, and I just tried this exercise, which I ended up applying to my own personal fears. I have to say – so far, Tapping Theory is AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for providing this fabulous website! That was so therapeutic!

    • ellen says:

      So very glad it is helpful to you…keep tapping on other negative feelings…you’ll be so surprised how free you feel. Peace.

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