Fear of Public Speaking - Tips to Overcome it
Most people suffer from Glossophobia. It is not a disease but the technical term for fear of public speaking. This word is derived from Greek terms, glossa (tongue), and phobos (fear).
This fear resides in almost everyone either in a very visible state or in a hidden manner. Even the best speakers, sometimes, have apprehensions of addressing an audience, which could stem from being unsure about the topic or the audience itself.
Glossophobia is most pronounced amongst shy people. As they are introverts, they find it difficult to speak their views or address an audience in fear of being reprimanded or opposed to. Many have a fear that they will be questioned on what they speak. Still others may become tongue-tied the moment they climb the podium.
Fear of public speaking is a hurdle to self-development and any progress in the corporate or social field. This fear makes people create a cocoon around themselves and they become highly insecure over a period of time.
It is essential to overcome this fear factor. This does not mean that every person must become a great orator, but to speak out in a group of people is essential for self-esteem.
This fear is not tackled overnight but has to be done at a snails pace - slow and steady, one step at a time. Glossophobia makes its appearance in childhood when school going children do not speak up in class. It is therefore essential to tackle this fear of speaking at an early age and slowly motivate the child to participate in class discussions. Nevertheless, this does not mean that glossophobia does not occur in adulthood. Due to a specific incident or accident, an adult, too, may develop apprehensions about speaking in public. However, once a speaker, always a speaker holds good; and through self-discipline and motivation, the fear can be overcome.
Some simple tips that can be followed by all ages to overcome the fear of public speaking are:
For those who find it hard to self-motivate themselves, there are innumerable guidebooks available on public speaking. Alternatively, every city has several self-development classes that can be attended. These courses include a module on public speaking whereby through theory and practical sessions, participants are brought out of their shell and are encouraged to participate. Over time, with practice, glossophobia is overcome.