Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The fear of public speaking

Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking that for a large percentage of people holds them back from success. Some studies over the last decade identify the fear of public speaking as # Nr.1 over death!

For many, the simple tought of having to speak in public triggers such mental and physical discomfort that moves people away from doing it, implementing all sorts of strategies for avoidance. Symptoms go from anxiety to more complex behaviours such as avoiding events were attenstion is focused on the individual, nausea or panic crisis in some circunstances.

The fact is that almost everyone experiences some level of anxiety and stress when having to speak in public; an increased heart rate, dilated pupils, perspiration or dry mouth are some of the signals that you have probably felt at some point; you do not feel "good" neither "in control" but these are reactions that emerge from the quick stress response - meaning it lasts for a while but it is a sort of response that will "shut down". How to handle these reactions requires learning and practice of specific mechanisms to manage this useful stress that in fact energises you.

When struggling with fear from speaking in public, one should start by remembering that you are not alone; there are effective strategies that can assist you to become comfortable and the best is to act before this anxiety rises to higher levels  of stress that may turn out to be a problem.
Remember; we are social beings and we need to communicate everyday of our lives! So, if public speaking is stressing you, understand how Toastmasters can help.