Public speaking anxiety disorder

Dr. Cheryl Mathews, Coach
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Dr. Cheryl Mathews, Your Guide

Request a free consultation or contact me with questions:
(202) 670-1269

nervous in these


  • Introducing yourself in a group
  • Being put on the spot
  • Expressing your opinion
  • Participating in group discussions
  • Being the center of attention
  • Speaking off-the-cuff (impromptu)
  • Taking turns speaking around a table
  • Performing in front of an audience
  • Speaking to authority figures (your boss)
  • Interviewing
  • Asking questions in a meeting
  • Giving status updates in a meeting
  • Giving speeches and presentations
  • Being evaluated
  • Telling a joke at a party
  • Selling your ideas
  • Suddenly being in the spotlight

You get the idea—it's all those situations where you have to speak or perform in front of others. When you’re overly afraid of these situations, it can stop you from developing relationships, graduating from school, getting a job, advancing your career, and achieving your goals. Ultimately, you can't do the things you want to do. Your quality-of-life decreases.

The fact is, public speaking anxiety and social anxiety have the same root cause. This program is designed to help you overcome both public speaking anxiety and social anxiety.

public speaking & social
anxiety courses (online)

Self-Paced Course

public speaking anxiety self paced course

Is introducing yourself in a group terrifying? Why does your heart race? Find out why that happens and how you can take control in this self-paced course.

Laboratory (LAB)

public speaking anxiety treatment

The Desensitization Laboratory (LAB) is a 16-hour workshop on Zoom where you learn and practice anxiety management techniques.


public speaking practice

Keep practicing in the weekly clubs. Use the Law of Habituation to reduce your fear. Practicing is what keeps you from falling into old patterns.


overcome public speaking anxiety techniques

Do one-on-one coaching as needed. This is especially helpful for working on negative core beliefs and automatic thoughts that increase anxiety.

Does this
program work?

The LAB was a wonderful experience! I was able to finally learn valuable techniques to help me better manage anxiety in a very safe environment.

I met others with the same challenges in the LAB and that made it a lot easier for me to relax and realize that we were all on the same journey and were there to help each other. Dr Cheryl was also very helpful in patiently guiding us through our sessions and helping us create new thought patterns. Also, I learned a lot from the feedback from others in the group. The feedback was so helpful.

After the first two sessions, I began to see my anxiety coming down through lots of practice opportunities I got in the lab. In one lab session, I gave a 5-minute talk and I was so happy because I knew I could do it.
Toastmasters is great but it was too overwhelming for me. The LAB however gave me a way to work on my anxiety gradually in a very manageable way. After the LAB, I am now confident that I have the tools to join a toastmasters group online to increase my practice opportunities.
Overall, the LAB was an awesome experience and I would encourage anyone who may be struggling with speaking anxiety of any sort to take part in it.

Brown // Engineer

This was an amazing course. I strongly recommend it for anyone who is serious about overcoming public speaking anxiety. Dr. Mathews walks you through a deep understanding of what causes public speaking anxiety, teaches you tools to overcome this anxiety, and so much more. I now have a plan in place that I feel confident will get me to where I need to be and most importantly I know that I’m not alone. I look forward to continuing to develop myself and sincerely appreciate Dr. Mathews’ kindhearted and no-nonsense approach.

Ryan A. // Executive

I finally decided one day that I was tired of constantly trying to avoid giving presentations at work and getting stressed out when I was inevitably asked to present. I wanted to understand the psychology behind public speaking anxiety, and somehow I stumbled upon a reddit AMA that Dr.Mathews did several years ago. I learned so much from her answers in that post, and from there I found the desensitization lab.

I was seeing a therapist for public speaking anxiety before the lab started. Therapy was very useful, however, a critical part of that therapy is exposure: doing the thing you’re afraid of--public speaking. I actually tried a few different ways to get exposures: I joined toastmasters, and I took a four week improv course. Those certainly helped, but the lab was by far the most effective for me.

One of my favorite parts of the lab is that because it was a small group, there were many opportunities to speak and practice. Dr.Mathews helped us to tailor our exposures to our personal fears without overwhelming ourselves. Because all of the participants were all in a similar boat wrt speaking anxiety, it felt very safe to open up and give each other honest feedback. I was quite surprised that I learned a lot about anxiety from watching others in the class go through their journeys. I found it quite valuable to see what speaking anxiety looks like in someone other than myself, because I personally tend to be less objective with myself.

I would absolutely recommend the lab to anyone who is looking to work on their speaking anxiety.

James K. // Developer

Here's what

I'll show you

A 2-step

The trick your nervous system plays

The 2-stages
of fear

How you can
take control

Here's the kind of stuff

you'll learn

Here's how you can

get started