Like me, almost everyone suffers from Glossophobia, or the fear or public speaking. In fact, it is estimated that Glossophobia affects about 15 million American adults. What are the symptoms associated with Glossophobia? More importantly, has does one get over this fear? It’s a fear we all must one day face, however, it’s not as uncommon as you think. Glossophobia The topic I’ve chosen to write about is a symptom called Glossophobia. Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking or of speaking in general. The reason I chose this particular topic is because is for two reasons.
I, like many others, have a fear of public speaking. A fear that has landed me in this same college course for a 3rd time. Now we all know that public speaking is an essential trait to have in any business, yet some people, like me, still have trouble getting over this phobia. “Some studies have shown that fear of public speaking ranks up there with the fear of death” (Hildy Gottlieb,2004). The second reason would be a conversation I had with my mom a week back. Now my mom is in school studying for her bachelors in business administration with a concentration in supply management.
Seeing as she’s further along in her course, I asked her for some pointers to help me along the way in my public speaking class. The answer my mother gave me was this “Son, I’d rather experience childbirth again than to take another public speaking class. I had to ask myself “Is public speaking that bad of an experience? ” This spawned me to research the symptoms associated with Glossophobia, as well as what can be done to overcome this fear. Symptoms associated with Glossophobia can be grouped into three categories: physical, verbal, and non-verbal.
The most common symptoms would be speech anxiety or feelings of panic prior to, or simply at the thought of having to verbally communicate with a large group. Physical symptoms include acute hearing, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, increased perspiration, increased oxygen intake, stiffening of neck/upper back muscles, and dry mouth. In my case, I dealt with these symptoms simply by not coming to class, a decision that has landed me in public speaking for yet a 3rd time. The verbal symptoms associated with Glossophobia include a tense voice, a quivering voice, and vocalized pauses.
As I recall my first day in my public speaking class, a lot of the students taking the course exhibited many of the symptoms stated above. Ironically, many glossophobics are able to dance, perform in public, or even to speak or sing if they cannot see the audience, or if they feel that they are presenting a character or someone other than themselves. For example, being the up and coming rapper that I am, I’m excellent when it comes to doing live performs. However, put me in a situation in which I have to view my audience and I freeze up.
My hands stay to my sides or my pockets and I’m unable to look my audience in the eye. Unfortunately, public speaking is a part of life. In fact, it’s a required course in every major at any major university. It’s just a road block in life. The best way to get through it is to face it head on. Taking this course for the 3rd time, I told myself that I wouldn’t let pride, ego, or the opinions of anyone else affect my performance in this class. I know that I can’t graduate without passing this course, so why let fear stop me from advancing?
The other thing you have to realize is that you’re not alone. True I may have a fear of public speaking, but doesn’t everyone else? The people you’re presenting or speaking to feel the exact same way. Anyone that has the task of presenting isn’t thinking about their presenter’s dress, speech, or even the message. 9 times out 0f 10 they’re thinking about how they’ll do once it’s their turn to present. Once you realize that your audience sympathizes with you, your fear of public speaking alleviates greatly. References Gottlieb , H. (2004).
Fear of public speaking . Retrieved from http://www. help4nonprofits. com/NP_Mktg_FearofPublicSpeaking_Article. htm Say goodbye to glossophobia – overcoming your fear of public speaking. (2012, April 08). Retrieved from http://asktheenglishteacher. com/2012/04/08/overcome-fear-public-speaking/ Segnit, S. (n. d. ). The secret to overcoming glossophobia. Retrieved from http://www. changethatsrightnow. com/glossophobia/how-to-overcome/ Top ten common phobias. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. squidoo. com/top-10-most-common-phobias.