Public speaking anxiety affects most of us to some degree. Even the most confident public speaker will have anxiety before speaking – it’s completely natural. A few nerves are actually healthy, it means you’re taking the task seriously and want to deliver a great speech and to impress. Watch a few regular speakers – spot the nerves, spot the sweating … it will be there! For many however, the thought of standing up in front of a group of people fills them with absolute fear and terror. Even the thought of walking up to the podium and the thought of everyone watching their every move can send them into a blind panic to the point that they will find every reason not to do it.
So, whilst most people feel nervous when they have to speak in public, those who are glossophobic are consumed with an extreme, irrational fear. This is why those afflicted with this phobia will theerefore go to great lengths to avoid situations which require them to engage in public speaking, thus limiting their life as well as their career options.
A person may experience public speaking anxiety because of many reasons and some of them may be very complex due to the interplay of many factors. A traumatic experience that a person had either during his/her childhood or adulthood can lead to glossophobia. Psychological conditions that a person may have can also cause this phobia.
The symptoms of speech anxiety include:
The symptoms that are more specific can be categorized as verbal, non-verbal and physical. The physical symptoms arise from the autonomic nervous system’s sympathetic response to the situation with a reaction referred to as “fight-or-flight”. The adrenaline rush that ensues serves to enhance the reaction, causing symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils, perspiration, dry mouth, etc.
Some of the verbal symptoms that a person may experience include vocalized pauses and a quivering voice, among others. The non-verbal symptoms may include frequent fidgeting, avoiding eye contact and wiping hands on trousers.
Below are our top 10 tips to cure your fear of public speaking:
Experiencing public speaking anxiety, anxiousness or nerves before and during your time in the spotlight is normal, but it’s also unproductive. Your best bet is to take a more comprehensive approach to public speaking. Before your next engagement, practice following these important guidelines. You will find that your confidence is improved and that you are better able to communicate your message.
You weren’t born with particular fears or anxiety – instead you have developed them along your life journey so far. In very simple terms Hypnotherapy works by re-setting the mind to produce the rational response to a specific situation or environment that you had before the phobia was initially triggered off. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP combines neurology and linguistics and creates a sort of programming that helps people change their thinking habits, help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In short, this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s more commonly referrred to, is a talking therapy which takes your specific issue, fear or specific phobia and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how they affect your behaviour and emotions in respect of this issue. It takes on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). Find Out More >
If the mere thought of having to speak in public fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.