Today’s topic is fear of public speaking and the ways to overcome it. Not everyone can speak in front of a large audience. It requires exceptional self-confidence, passion, and a desire to be the center of attention. This fear of public speaking is also called Glossophobia.
Sometimes it is simply necessary to go to the site and tell people about something. Some want to step out of their comfort zone and broadcast their ideas to the world. In such situations, fear of public speaking and the stage can become a real problem: read about the causes of Glossophobia and how to get rid of it in this article.
Fear of Public Speaking (Glossophobia)
The fear of speaking in front of an audience is called glossophobia. I note that this does not include concern natural excitement, but namely, a panic attack before an event of any degree of importance.
Despite the significance of what is happening, the number of spectators, a person may have such overwhelming anxiety before leaving the curtain, which does not allow connecting even two words. However, in one way or another, people are always worried before going out to public.
This type of experience is embedded in us at the subconscious level. When people needed to hunt large animals to feed and warm themselves, the success of the sortie depended on teamwork. Need to feel part of the tribe has remained with us to this day. Therefore, going on stage alone, we feel discomfort. Thus, we separate ourselves from the rest of society.
Glossophobia, in this case, is a normal emotion. The difference is that for a beginner, it can be a devastating problem. Still, in the hands of an experienced speaker, it can turn into a powerful tool and even transform into charisma.
In addition, excitement is the motivation that makes the speaker prepare and develop harder. The absence of such a phobia would generate irresponsibility and laziness. Think of it as a natural gift to do your best.
How to Deal with Stage Fear & Overcome Public Anxiety?
The Glossophobic state begins to torment the speaker long before the upcoming event. It continues during direct contact with the audience, becoming the cause of psychological shock.
Anxiety can arise from a reluctance to hear criticism, ridicule, and lack of confidence in external attractiveness and competence. These attacks do not depend on the audience itself (fear will prevail in the circle of both strangers and acquaintances of the glossophobia).
Discomfort is necessarily accompanied by physical symptoms (tremors in the limbs, accelerated heart rate, disruption of the gastrointestinal tract, fever).
Types of Fear of Public Speaking (Glossophobia)
Specialists identify several types of this phobia. They are similar in symptomatology but differ in the sources of the fear itself. To understand how to deal with a problem, you need to determine the specific form in which it manifests itself. Sometimes this requires the help of a professional.
- Peyraphobia – horror in front of the audience.
- Verbophobia – anxiety before speaking.
- Lalophobia – fear of diction disturbance, stuttering.
Why Are People Afraid to Public Speaking?
To understand how to overcome uncertainty before a public speech and boldly interact with the public, it is necessary to determine the causes of fear; there can be many factors, starting from a genetic predisposition.
Parents’ attitudes to public events and their behavior can be laid down in the child at the genetic level or instilled in education. Children always imitate adults and adopt their manners and habits, so it is effortless to provoke a phobia.
Common factors contributing to the onset of glossophobia are:
- Childhood Experiences. For example, the psychological discomfort caused by peer ridicule during a performance.
- The Manifestation of Neurotic Diseases. So, the lack of control over your emotional state can further result in fear of speaking in public, in front of an audience.
- Complexes Associated with the Appearance or Speech. Self-criticism is both an engine and a brake. Complexity makes it difficult to assess the situation objectively.
- Education. Some parents prohibit their children from leading a public lifestyle or limiting their personal space, making access to the audience a painful departure from their comfort zone.
- Constant Criticism from Adults. Excessive criticism forms in the child self-doubt, a feeling of uselessness.
- Shyness. One of the most common reasons. Inability to work with criticism, unpreparedness for it.
Symptoms and Signs of The Fear of Public Speaking (Glossophobia)
Before the start of the event, the glossophobia may experience the following body reactions to stress:
- redness or pale skin;
- nervousness is reflected in gestures;
- bowel disorder;
- uncontrollable laughter;
- excessive sweating;
- dryness in the mouth;
- increased heart rate;
- tremor of the vocal cords;
- muscle spasms;
- semi-faint state;
- changes in facial expressions;
- increased pressure;
- lump in the throat;
- problems with speech, voice;
- numbness of the limbs.
Consequences of Glossophobia (Fear of Public Speaking)
Phobias such as fear of public speaking in front of an audience can become a serious problem and lead to:
- poor performance in an educational institution;
- excessive isolation, shyness;
- the inability to achieve heights in the professional field;
- difficulty finding a job.
How to Overcome The Fear of Public Speaking (Glossophobia)?
If the problem is critical, it is better to seek help, advice from a professional. A qualified psychologist will help you understand the sources of fear and eliminate provocateurs. It will also be helpful to sign up for my consultation, during which you will be able to agree with yourself, find internal resources to combat the phobia.
14 Rules to overcome anxiety and fear of performing in public:
1. Try to change your attitude towards anxiety. Think of it not as a barrier but as a source of energy. Emotional experiences make the bodywork more actively, more intensely at the psychophysiological level.
Excitement increases blood circulation, which means the brain functions faster, clearer. But for this, you need not dwell on your panic but swing energetically.
2. Try to remember what you used to be afraid of, but now you do it with ease and positively – for example, walking (yes, and you once put a considerable amount of effort into this), driving a car. Access to the audience is also a potential source of new opportunities.
3. Always be prepared to speak and engage with the audience. You should have a ready plan that will allow you to feel confident, to keep the situation under control.
Make sure it is flexible and reflects only key points, and does not represent a strict scenario without the right to deviate. Understand the topic well so that no questions from the audience can scare you.
4. Think over all the organizational points. What should be on stage during your speech? Will you have something in your hands? How to change slides without getting confused in cards? How to hold the microphone?
Maximum preparation is a sign of professionalism.
5. Be an expert in what you are talking about. Only confidence in your knowledge will help to avoid force majeure. Communicate with the audience; take your speech as an opportunity to share your experience with the audience.
6. Exercise in front of the mirror, listen to the dictaphone recording of your message, rehearse with friends and family. If your speech has a time limit, check with it. While rehearsing, bring the training as close as possible to reality: put on the same clothes, use the props.
7. You do not need to cram your report; keep in your head the main message, the idea that needs to be conveyed, and do not be afraid to improvise. Often, improvisation turns out to be the most joyful, exciting moment of the report.
8. Make a summary of your speech so you can understand what you want to talk about.
9. Choose narrow topics. It is easy to get confused, get lost, and go to the wrong place in wide ones.
10. Read as often as possible. The more thoughts you get on your question, the easier it will be to build associations, parallels and argue your position.
11. Use concepts familiar to viewers and audiences.
12. Prepare cheat sheets: they can be supported during the event itself or help in the process of memorizing information.
13. What happens if your message ends early? And if you don’t have enough time? Be prepared for these situations. Be sure to take your watch with you to control your speech rate and understand when to finish a thought.
14. Take the first steps to combat phobia in the most comfortable conditions. You should not jump into the pool headlong and immediately go out to a vast audience – practice in small, friendly evenings.
There is a specific algorithm to deal with glossophobia (fear of public speaking). These are four steps to help you work through your fear:
Step 1 – Participation in self-training. It is imperative to work on your self-esteem by regularly praising yourself. Realize your strengths and remind yourself of them more often.
Step 2 – Relaxation and meditation. Learn to relax and find emotional balance within yourself.
Step 3 – Form a positive attitude. Think about how beautifully and successfully everything will go. Do not focus on the negative; knowingly programming yourself to make mistakes.
Step 4 – Watch your appearance. Your appearance should match the format of the conversation.
Home Exercise to Deal with Glassophobia (Fear of Public Speaking)
There are several effective ways to reduce fear while preparing for your report at home.
1. Stress Exercise
To regulate the neuro-hormonal state, it is necessary to work with the body – exercise, jump, squat. Sport promotes the production of endorphins – antistress hormones. But you should not do this right before going out to the audience: breathing should be restored, and your appearance should be neat.
Try to reproduce in detail the upcoming event in your head. Please pay attention to how viewers perceive you, joke, and quickly answer their questions. Create the most optimistic picture of what is happening.
Before speaking, repeat the following aloud:
- I’m happy to be here.
- I’m glad to see you all.
- I am convinced of my expertise.
- I clearly understand what will be discussed.
- I like you.
- I inspire you.
1. How to Calm Down for Performing in Front of An Audience on Stage?
Stop thinking that you have to be perfect. Many are afraid to send a message to people, as they are wary of making a mistake. But panic will only increase the likelihood of failure. Even professional speakers cannot avoid minor errors. Just follow your goal, not trying to appear as a standard in the eyes of others.
Understand that the audience will not be as demanding of you as you are of yourself. Even if something goes wrong and some little thing gets out of control, most likely, it will go unnoticed against the background of your bright speech.
2. How to Overcome from Fear of Public Speaking on Stage with a Large Audience with Rehearsals?
The more often you rehearse, the more likely it is that everything will go like clockwork. After rereading your text more than once, you will remember it and navigate in the written thoughts. However, one should not cram – a fully learned speech is perceived dryly, without interest. Record the workout on the video to evaluate your behavior, facial expressions, gestures.
3. How not to Be Afraid Before Leaving?
Control your breathing. In a confused rhythm, it will only fuel stress. Breathe deeply, calmly, and evenly. Concentrate on alternating inhalation and exhalation to prevent destructive thoughts from arising.
4. How to Deal with Local Panic?
- Find viewers who are as friendly as possible. Focus your attention on them.
- If you experience tremors or numbness in your limbs, imagine being doused with water and then shake it off.
- Breathing has a calming effect. Take a deep breath and exhale for a long time. Normalize your breathing rhythm.
You may also like to read: A Complete Guide: How to Confess Your Feelings to A Girl?
Recommendations of Psychologist
Very often, it is feared that prevent us on the path to self-realization. Speaking skills are essential for building effective communication with people and moving up the career ladder. Below you will find a few more of my psychological techniques to rewire the brain to a more positive wave:
- tense and relax your muscles several times with one effort;
- take a couple of sips of cool water;
- provoke yawning;
- transfer body weight from heels to toes and vice versa;
- move your jaw, massage your cheekbones;
- rub your palms;
- move at a fast pace;
- find the most comfortable position;
- hum your favorite song mentally;
- invite loved ones to the event;
- admit to the audience that you are scared (it is essential to do this only once!);
The ability to find internal resources and energy will help cope with anxiety and fear of public speaking (Glossophobia). Sign up for my consultation online and offline. Perhaps this conversation will be the starting point for changes in your life.
Don’t worry that one way or another, everyone is concerned before reading an important speech. It will take a lot of practice and work on yourself for fear to go away entirely, and you get pure pleasure from interacting with the public.
Learn to step out of your comfort zone more often, speak in front of people, to different audiences, so that the fear of public speaking ceases to be a problem phobia for you, and the question of how not to be afraid to go on stage and not worry longer arises.