Fearful of presenting and public speaking?

Anxious about speaking up in meetings?

Attending a presentation skills workshop is an absolute NO?

  • Psychologically-safe, brain-friendly, virtual course to build your speaking confidence & presentation skills, whilst minimising your fears
  • Learn from the safety of your own home, alongside a small supportive group, just like you
  • Virtual course including 8 live 90-min micro-webinars (group size 4-10) plus how-to micro-learning videos, buddy calls, 'secret' home practices, guided visualisations & on-line trainer/group support
  • Learn how to deliver a simple, clear, authentic presentation and lessen your fear around speaking up in meetings
  • Recommended for introvertedsensitive, fearful, phobic, neurodiverse or beginner presenters. Or anyone who prefers to learn in a gentler, virtual way

Typical ‘in-at-the-deep-end’ presentation skills training, usually has practice presentations with group feedback. Although effective, this highly pressured ‘judged’ process can be nerve-wracking for most; hence why researchers use these techniques on their human test subjects, in stress experiments

If you have a long-standing fear of presenting or simply speaking up in meetings, such training may be too scary to attend. Public speaking avoidance spirals can last a lifetime, limiting your career development and life opportunities

But it doesn't have to be this way ...


Presenting for the Petrified takes an opposite, more humane approach. We believe your brain can’t learn well when overwhelmed by fear, perceived social threats and self-judgement. Instead, gentle, step-by-step, psychologically safe/brain-friendly exercises, using small group support and visualizations, help encourage and support you in a less pressured & fearful way

You will learn the basic skills of public speaking. Our aim is for you to become more confident about speaking up or presenting at work, or continuing onto in-person training such as Toastmasters

back of conference chairs in neat rows with blue light shining on them

Course Dates

Spaces for Sept 2020 onwards will be bookable shortly 

Email Us now to register your interest

The 8 virtual sessions cover:

  1. Getting to know each other & starting to build your speaking confidence
  2. Understanding fear & the brain
  3. What to say (structuring a presentation)
  4. How to say it (using your voice)
  5. How to express it (using your body language & props)
  6. Dealing with the audience (questions & objections)
  7. Virtual delivery, meetings and preparing for a presentation
  8. Putting it all together, presenting with passion & authenticity

Each session includes:

  • Pre-session micro-learning videos to watch, covering that session's skills
  • A live 90-min interactive webinar (max group size 10) where we play with some simple fun exercises
  • A follow up virtual discussion with your allocated buddy, to discuss & practice further
  • Secret practices & challenges to help boost your confidence & build skills. These can be practised during the course of a normal day without anyone knowing
  • Guided visualisations to listen to, to help change your association with speaking up & out
  • On-line trainer/group support
  • Please allow 1-3 hours per week, in addition to the 90-min webinar, for buddy calls and home exercises
  • You may be asked to record yourself on your phone and watch or listen to it, as this often brings great insights. As well as sharing it with your buddy

Extra Options:

Individual Coaching: For anyone needing extra design, delivery or pre-presentation support (bookable on-line shortly)

Presenting for the Petrified Training for Groups or Teams: Available on request (see below for Options)

man presenting with hand on book, next to phone, both on a glass lecturn


How is Presenting for the Petrified different from normal presentation skills training?

Regular presentation skills training, however well delivered, can be nerve wracking even for the confident. The standard ‘in-at-the-deep-end’ approach can be like having your first ever driving lesson at rush hour in a busy city center. Terrifying! This is because participants are forced to do the thing they fear the most .. presenting .. without sufficient confidence building first. Add to that the ordeal of receiving feedback from the group and it's no wonder it can be overwhelming and offputting

Presenting for the Petrified has been designed by Debbie Jeremiah, a Leadership Learning specialist from General Electric, who taught GE Presentation Skills, alongside numerous virtual courses on the brain at work, managing emotions, building resilience, mindfulness, collective intelligence & decluttering your mind. This course is a unique combination of all of those topics

"If a course participant is so pressured by a class that they are reduced to tears, then I question the value of that learning. Standard speaker training focuses on teaching skills primarily and assumes confidence will appear naturally with practice. But I believe a gentler, more brain-friendly approach is needed to boost confidence first and then throughout the learning. So my approach is to build confidence gradually through a quiet, calm, step-by-step approach, rather than an 'in-at-the-deep end', 'sink-or-swim' ordeal. It's a much more humane approach to overcoming the fear of public speaking .."

Why learn presentation skills virtually?

Classroom courses can be off-putting for fearful speakers. Small group virtual training, attended from the safety of your own desk, can be a psychologically safer alternative

Spacing out the learning over a number of weeks is key too. So rather than cramming everything into 2 packed, stressful classroom days (and then forgetting most of it afterwards), you can practice a small number of skills in real-life, building upon them in each session. This spaced approach is a considerably more brain-friendly way to learn

How is Presenting for the Petrified ‘brain-friendly’ & why does that matter?

We know from brain science that an overloaded, shut down or 'paralysed with fear' brain, is not a learning brain. Learning can’t be stored or retrieved and insights can’t be generated

We also know that receiving feedback in front of others, so common in presentation skills training, is likely to trigger a significant threat response in the brain, shutting down thinking, memory, decision making, emotional control & speaking eloquence. All the skills needed for good public speaking!

During this course, psychological safety is created through socially sensitive, uninterrupted speaking rounds, with listeners demonstrating behaviours that minimise threat responses in the speaker. This provides a new, possibly liberating, experience of speaking in front of others

We also know that spaced, bite- size chunks of learning, such as the weekly micro-videos, may be more effective than intensive learning, especially if accompanied by social learning (digital cohort support) and self-generated learning (reviewing your own selfie videos)

Who is Presenting for the Petrified suitable for?

This course is suitable for anxious, fearful, highly sensitive, introverted, neurodiverse speakers or those new to presenting, who wish to start out gently

What are the webinar/class sizes?

4-10 participants

You'll get to know them all well and will be buddied up with one of them, to work through your home activities with

The sessions will be recorded if you are unable to attend

Is there homework or pre-work?

Before each session, you'll be asked to watch some short videos which cover the skills we'll be exploring in that session. This frees up time in our webinars to practice those skills

After each session, you'll be given some additional exercises to do with your virtual buddy, in addition to some 'secret' activities you can do during the course of your normal day

You should allow an additional 1-3 hours per session, in addition to the 90-min webinar

Will I need to deliver a presentation during the course?

No. You'll be asked to speak for a few minutes here and there during our live sessions, to practice certain techniques. For anyone who wants to challenge themselves during the last session, you will be encouraged to deliver a short virtual session. But remember, you're delivering to a small, friendly group, from the safety of your home or desk

Much of your practice gets done separately with your course buddy, as this is a safe and effective way to practice and receive feedback

But if I'm doing this course virtually, how do I develop the skills to deliver in-person?

Much of the home-practice involves simple little activities that you can undertake during the course of a normal day, without anyone really noticing. These are designed to generally help you feel more confident in speaking up.

This course obviously can't replace the practice of presenting in front of a live audience, but when speaking opportunities do present themselves, you should feel better equipped with more skills, knowledge, techniques and confidence

This course is the perfect confidence boosting foundation to attending a follow up classroom training course or a local speaking group such as Toastmasters

Is the training available for my team or company?

Yes! Simply contact us to discuss. See below for all options, which also include in-person, on-site options too

Corporate Training Options

Virtual Options:

  • 8 Session Virtual Course (per above)

Classroom & Blended Options (UK only):

  • 3 Day Classroom (Confidence & Skills): Day 1 Building Your Confidence* + Day 2-3 Building Your Skills. This on-site option focuses on skill building only after confidence has been built. It is recommended for anxious presenters within learning cultures more familiar with classroom training. Days can be delivered non-consecutively, to increase practice opportunities and spacing
  • 1 Day + 8 Session Blended (Confidence & Skills): Day 1 Building Your Confidence* + 6 session virtual program (per above). This is a great option for time-pressed, sensitive or anxious presenters. Skills are developed in bite-sized, spaced chunks, following an experiential confidence building day. This option boosts confidence, teaches skills and offers a 'safer' space to practice and improve, in a more time-effective way
  • 1 Day Classroom (Confidence only): This 1 Day experiential on-site session helps build confidence in nervous speakers who need extra pre-training speaking confidence. You could use this 1 day on-site class as an extra support for your own existing presentation skills training. With very few speaking skills covered, it will not affect delivery of your own content
  • Virtual Check-ins: Additional mid program or follow up coaching & support, for individuals or groups
  • Fear Extinguishing Therapy Dog (yes really!): Where appropriate for UK/on-site sessions, a therapy dog can also be provided to uniquely and happily help reduce class anxiety!

To discuss your own or your team's presentation skills requirements, please Contact Us