Published on May 10, 2016 by Adrienne McLean
For a lot of people, public speaking is worse than a death sentence. This graphic helps to explain why public speaking is so scary to certain individuals and ways to get over it.
The fear of public speaking is known as “glossophobia”. More Americans report they fear it more than heights, flying, drowning, and small spaces. So what makes this fear so common? The main reason is that they feel that they will be ostracized, which in early days of man would have meant death since collaboration was needed for survival. Even still, people who are socially isolated are found to be 26% more likely to die sooner.
Some people fear it from having past traumatic experiences with public speaking, such as being made fun of in school. Extreme cases can even be selective mutism, preventing the person from speaking at all in certain situations. Selective mutism can also be a social anxiety disorder affecting 1 in 8 children.
Much of the anxiety associated with public speaking can be changed by the way a person thinks about it. The problem of thinking that if everything doesn’t go perfectly that it’s a failure should be changed so that the speaker accepts that perfection is impossible and appreciating the elements that do work. Another problem is that some people believe that just because their previous public speaking attempt went poorly, that they are doomed for failure. The speaker needs to accept that a poor attempt does not mean that every public speaking engagement will go badly. There are other helpful tips to help change the way people feel about public speaking.
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