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Author: Obembe Sunday Dapo [SirPhren]

Other Blog: Assist Blogger


Have you ever felt as if you were dying when your lecturer called you out to address the class? I have seen a friend of mine felt the same. It wasn't that he didn't know what he wanted to do but the fear of standing before his colleague overcame him. What then is Glossophobia? How can it be overcomed?

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Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking. According to wikipedia, the word glossophobia derives from the Greek word, glōssa, meaning tongue, and phobos, fear or dread. Stage fright may be a symptom of glossophobia.

Symptoms include: Intense anxiety prior to, or simply at the thought of having to verbally communicate with any group.

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√ Avoidance of events which focus the group's attention on individuals in attendance.

√ Physical distress, nausea, or feelings of panic in such circumstances.

According to glossophobia.com, as many as 75% people have glossophobia. Statistically, far more of us claim that we would prefer death to giving a speech; even comedian Jerry Seinfeld used to joke that at a funeral, most people would rather be lying in the casket than delivering the eulogy.

Glossophobia can exhibit itself in many ways, including:

• Actors, actresses and musicians finding shows and concerts extremely difficult

• Business people having a fear of making presentations

• The fear of making speeches at weddings

• The fear in anticipation of a public speaking event

• The avoidance of situations that might include public speaking

• Pilots and cabin crew feeling intensely uncomfortable having to make announcements to passengers during a flight

• Stuttering or stammering in public speaking situations

How To Overcome Fear Of Public Speaking [Glossophobia]


Don't communicate to oppress or impress rather communicate to express, Mr Awotiku said in Young Entrepreneur Conference.

There are ways to overcome the fear of public speaking.

1). Believe in yourself: Before you get on to the stage/podium, have the inner convinction that you can do it. Believe you can and you shall find it easy to do.

2). Know your subject: Make it a practice to study the subject you want to discuss days before the day of presentation. When you know well about your, when you do, you will feel confident.

3). See your audiences as your student: When you mount to podium, see others as your students. Feel as if you are teaching them what they don't know.

4). Find out who your audience will be: Will you be addressing a group of experts or one that knows little about the topic? Being aware of which will help you structure your presentation accordingly as well as prepare for it. You should always be more knowledgeable than your audience.

5). Prepare a presentation: Don't attempt to speak extemporaneously. If you carefully prepare an outline of what you want to cover you won't have to worry about forgetting something important.

6). Don't memorize your speech: If you commit your entire speech to memory and then forget even just one line of it, things could spiral out of control and you may find yourself unable to remember the rest of it. You are much better off knowing the essence of what you want to say, but not necessarily every word of it verbatim.

7). Practice: Rehearse what you are going to say in front of a mirror or video record it. You can also practice it with a friend. If you go over your speech several times—again not memorizing every single word of it—you will feel more comfortable on the big day.

8). Anticipate questions your audience may ask: If you come up with a list of potential questions your audience might have, you will be able to prepare your answers.

9). Dress well, but comfortably: You will want to dress professionally for your presentation. Wear an outfit that you look good in and feel good in as well. Having your collar choking you or your shoes pinching your feet while you are up at the podium will be very distracting.

10). Keep a glass of water next to you: Having a dry mouth while giving a speech happens to everyone not only those who are fearful of public speaking. To keep from feeling like your mouth is filled with cotton, take sips of water occasionally.

11). Find some friendly faces in the audience: Try to find people in different parts of the room with whom you can make eye contact during your presentation. It will calm you down if you start to feel anxious.

12). Use visual aids: A slide show, for example, will make your presentation more interesting and will give your audience something to focus on other than you. Check to make sure the facility at which you are giving your speech has the equipment you need and that you know how it works. 

If you are planning a digital presentation, you will need a smart podium for instance. If it doesn't have what you need, plan accordingly. Don't forget that your slides are there to supplement your speech. Don't read directly from them.

13). Speak slowly: People tend to talk more quickly when they are nervous so make a conscious effort to slow down. You will be less likely to stumble over your words if you aren't rushing through your speech.



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