So, you’ve just been promoted at work, and you are on your way to address your team regarding the sales off the month, the planning and budgeting ahead.  Your heart is pounding so hard in your chest that you’re worried your colleagues will actually see it and lose their belief in you as their manager.  You get up to make your speech, and all you can think about is all those eyes judging you, your mouth is dry, your knees are shaking, your hands are trembling and you talk so fast that you barely get your message across.  Afterwards you worry whether they could pick up on how nervous you were, and you’re feel that they will “catch” you out for pretending to be the confident, cool and collected person you are trying to portray.

Does this sound familiar?

It is incredible to note that the fear of public speaking, or Glossophobia, tops the greatest fears that trouble people.  In fact, this fear comes ahead of people’s fear of death, spiders, heights and confined spaces. This shows that people will rather choose death than talk in front of a large group of people.

Top 10 Phobias

  1. Public Speaking or Stage Freight
  2. Death and End of Life
  3. Spiders and other Arachnids Creatures
  4. Darkness and Twilight
  5. Heights, Altitudes, and Elevations
  6. People and Social Situations
  7. Flying in Airplanes
  8. Open Spaces and Squares
  9. Natural Thunder and Lightning
  10. Confined Spaces and Small Rooms

3 out of every 4 people, suffer from the fear of public speaking.  An unfortunate fact is that a lot of people suffering from this anxiety are not as successful as some of their equally talented colleagues, as you would rather shy away photo-1437182630182-32b2926da244 (2)from any opportunity to speak in public.

People who suffer from the fear of public speaking tend to freeze in front of any audience, even a couple of people. They find their mouth dries up, their voice is weak and their body starts shaking. They may even sweat, go red and feel their heart thumping rapidly.

Symptoms of glossophobia, also known as speech anxiety, include:

  • intense anxiety prior to, or simply at the thought of having to communicate with any group,
  • avoidance of events which focus the group’s attention on individuals in attendance,
  • physical distress, nausea, or feelings of panic,
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate,
  • Excessive sweating,
  • Stiffening of the neck and upper back muscles, and
  • Dry mouth

Common thought processes going on in one’s mind when plagued with fear of public speaking is:

  • “Don’t look at the audience”
  • “Rush through it”
  • “It will be over soon”
  • “Use a lot of slides”
  • “Just read from the slides”
  • “I’m sure they can see how nervous I am”

The good news is that this doesn’t have to be a life sentence. You don’t have to rely on excessive breathing exercises, pretending that you’re someone else, avoiding eye contact and using an overload of slides to somehow keep your fear manageable.


To find out how transformation coaching can detach you from this fear, book a FREE coaching session with Life Purpose Coaching Pretoria East.

Book your COMPLIMENTARY Discovery Session NOW!

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