Glossophobia is the technical term given to a severe fear of public speaking. People who suffer from glossophobia 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.
If you suffer from glossophobia you shy away from any opportunity to speak in public. Your symptoms are usually so severe you get terribly embarrassed and fearful of any public speaking.
According to Barbara Fish, M.Ed., the fear may happen in the classroom where the student prays that the teacher doesn’t call on him to answer a question. It can happen in the workplace where the manager experiences panic attacks at the thought of making a presentation to her superiors.
It can happen at home where the jobseeker becomes emotionally distraught before going on a job interview. It can happen at a party where the possibility of meeting someone new is curtailed by butterflies in the stomach and sweaty palms. The thought of speaking in public can leave us frozen with fear. It can also cause us to miss out on many academic, social, and career opportunities.
Symptoms of glossophobia, also known as speech anxiety, include:
Symptoms of glossophobia can be grouped under three primary categories: physical, verbal, and non-verbal. Physical symptoms, the most overt one, include increased blood pressure and heart beats, increased sweating tendency, stiffening of neck and upper back muscles and dry mouth.
Some organizations, such as Toastmasters International, and training courses in public speaking may help to reduce the fear to manageable levels. Self-help materials that address public speaking are among the best-selling self-help topics.