Glossophobia – Beat Your Fear Of Public Speaking

Glossophobia - Fear Of Public SpeakingA fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias – it even has a name, it’s officially called glossophobia a derivative of the Greek words glossa, meaning tongue, and phobos, meaning fear.

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.

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Glossophobia – Fear Of Public Speaking

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.

Glossophobia Symptoms: 

The symptoms of speech anxiety include:

  • Intense nervousness before public speaking; the very thought of communicating to a group can make a person very nervous.
  • The tendency to avoid events in which the person is the center of attention among a group of people.
  • Physical distress, feelings of panic, nausea, etc.

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.

Top 10 Tips To Cure Public Speaking Anxiety

Below are our top 10 tips to cure your fear of public speaking:

  1. Glossophobia - Fear Of Public SpeakingResearch: Take the time to research other important speeches on your subject. The internet has a wealth of recorded speeches so that you can observe how they do it. Focus on the qualities that you liked in their speech and emulate them. Look for qualities such as their ease in speaking, their humor and how they capture the attention of the audience.
  2. Preparation: You won’t be confident if you don’t know you subject so make sure you take your topic, study it in great detail and plan and structure your speech and rehearse – you won’t believe the confidence that a good preparation can give you, the opposite is also true of course.
  3. Relax: Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques before taking the stage.
  4. Enthusiasm: It is very important that you display enthusiasm when you are speaking publicly – how many talks have you sat through trying to stay awake and focused whilst the speaker drones on in monotone. There is no way that you will get others excited about a topic if it seems like you are bored with it. If the topic is one that is a bit more emotionally driven, you have to show them that you care.
  5. Voice Projection: Project your voice when you speak in front of an audience and make sure everyone can hear you ok before you start. This is particularly true if you do not have the benefit of a microphone. You want everyone in the room to be able to hear you, so do not be afraid to speak as loudly as necessary to accomplish that. There is no point in making a speech that most of the audience cannot hear – the ones who can’t will immediately switch off and the atmosphere will deteriorate.
  6. Look At Your Audience: Don’t stare at the floor, the screen or your notes, instead look your audience right in the eye and scan around to show them you’re addressing each and every one of them. Look around the room in a relaxed way. Make eye contact and connect with individuals here and there throughout the audience. This technique will help you engage the audience and make them feel comfortable.
  7. Props: If you’re using  a power-point presentation on screen, flip chart or similar props keep the number of slides to a minimum, no more that 15 if possible. Use titles as headlines and not descriptions – don’t simply read you speech off the screen but introduce each subject with a headline the go on to discuss it. Do not use a laser pointer to run over words as you read them from a screen. This gives your audience the idea that you think they are incapable of reading for themselves. Once they begin to feel insulted, it will be much harder for you to convince them to listen to you.
  8. Humour: You will win your audience over if you add a little humor to your speech. There is nothing wrong with trowing in a joke or two and putting a smile on your audience’s faces. However, do not go overboard on the jokes, as your audience will not take you serious. It’s worth considering starting with a bit of a joke if it’s appropriate to your subject – you won’t believe what a little laughter can do to your confidence.
  9. Interaction: Allow the opportunity for questions or comments throughout your speech. They may not remember what they meant to inquire about. Control you presentation but allow people to ask questions at appropriate times throughout the speech. This will really help them appreciate you as a speaker.
  10. Conclusion: To have a truly memorable speech, work on a great ending. There are going to other parts in your speech that are important to your audience, but your final point is what so many people will remember most. A boring ending will make them forget your speech quickly. How many concerts have you been to and how many bands finish with their biggest hits? It’s the same principle here … the grand finale!

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.

Treatment For The Fear Of Public Speaking – Therapy


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 (NLP):

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 >

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):

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 >

The Fear Of Public Speaking Self Help Treatments

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.


Overcome Fear Of Public Speaking is a self hypnosis treatment program specifically for those who suffer from Glossophobia. Follow it in your own time, it’s completely discrete and represents amazing value for money too.

Highly recommended – Find Out More >

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