It’s often known as glossophobia although some have been content to call it ochlophobia. In the first case it is definitively the fear of public speaking while the later is the general fear of crowds. In both cases the anxiety is high.
Why Do I Feel This Way?
The causes of this condition tend to go back to an early belief system adopted by the individual. They may feel their thoughts are unimportant, they may have had an overbearing parent who did not allow them the opportunity to speak for themselves, they may have even been subjected to a traumatic or humiliating event involving speaking in front of others sometime in their past, or they may have simply allowed minor feelings of anxiety to grow into something much larger over time.
Am I The Only One?
Those who suffer from this condition will have pronounced anxiety speaking in any group setting let alone in front of them. Statistics suggest that 75% of all Americans suffer from ‘stage fright’ to some degree. Many of these millions will avoid attending any event if there is even the slightest hint that they might be singled out to say something or be the object of attention. Nausea and panic are common conditions of those who suffer from glossophobia.
Overcoming The Fear of Public Speaking
The Virginia Journal of Education suggests the following tips for overcoming your fear of sharing your thoughts in a public setting.
- Do your research.
- Make sure you know your topic thoroughly.
- Don’t try to wing it.
- Fill out and use flashcards to help keep you on track with your topic.
- Don’t become tied to those notes.
- Rehearse in front of a mirror, family or friends.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Groups like www.toastmasters.org can help provide opportunities to learn the skills and confidence needed to become an effective speaker.
Like most fears, public speaking is a phobia that can be addressed. Your fears may seem irrational to others, but extremely real and debilitating to you. It could be you are in a position that requires group presentations. Accept the help of others and insist that personal failure is not an option.
The above picture may be a demonstration of how you feel, but with even small successes in public speaking you can move forward in meaningful communication in a group setting or even among friends.
Putting A Face To The Fear
If you suffer from this anxiety disorder you need to know you are not alone. Accept encouragement from famous American performers who had to overcome their fear of public speaking before they became the pop culture icons we know today. These include Donny Osmond, Barbara Streisand and Sir Lawrence Olivier. Even people like Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Jim Carrey suffer from bouts of shyness and anxiety in a public setting.
If people who live with this fear can learn to act, sing and perform standup comedy it is entirely probable that you can move forward one step at a time to make glossophobia something that no longer has control over your present and future.
Coping & Surviving
Do you suffer from glossophobia, yet still speak in public? What have you done to make that possible? How to you cope? What do you still struggle with the most?
The fear of speaking in public is also referred to as:
- speaking phobia
- public speaking phobias
- phobia fear of public speaking
- speaking in public phobia name
- phobia of public speaking