The fear of public speaking is known as Glossophobia and is one of the most common phobias. If you suffer for general shyness, social anxiety, claustrophobia or panic disorders you will more than likely also suffer from glossophobia. This fear can cause real problems in a person’s life, stopping them from attempting to reach goals in the work place and speak up in group conversations affecting their social life.
What Causes Glossophobia?
It’s difficult to pinpoint where a fear of public speaking first began. It could be something as small as an embarrassing incident in front of a crowd as a child, being severely criticised or a previous experience of public speaking that didn’t go very well. Where ever your fear came from it can be extremely crippling. Nobody finds public speaking easy, and almost everyone gets nervous, but when you have a true phobia of public speaking it can almost stop you being able to take part in meetings and conferences.
Can It Be Cured?
We are born with two phobias; falling and loud noises, any other phobias we pick up as we go along. This means our phobias aren’t just a part of us and something we can’t do anything about, as we once lived without them we can learn to live without them again. Because of how strong a fear you feel when it comes to public speaking you probably feel like nothing will help you feel more confident about it. There are options and the fear of public speaking can be forgotten.
Glossophobia isn’t something you should live with. It can have a great effect on your life stopping you from getting to where you want to be, so how can we overcome this fear?
- Neuro Linguistic Programming– NLP is the practice of understanding where negative thoughts and attitudes come from. Once you understand this you can begin to challenge them and slowly learn to think and feel differently. NLP is a long term treatment option and takes a lot of commitment but can be a much better option than short term fixes. NLP can be self taught and managed. NLP training is available and advised for anyone wishing to cure glossophobia with NLP.
- Exercises– There are certain exercises you can carry out to calm your nerves before public speaking. These include breathing exercises, practice exercises, and vocal warm up exercises. You can try a variety of exercises to find which work best for you. Although doing these may help with your immediate fear they are not a long term fix.
Eilidh MacRae works for Performance Partnership and would reccomend them for NLP training.