Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What could be worse than death?

For many people, public speaking. National surveys have found that many Americans rank fear of public speaking as their number one fear, even above fear of death.

We here at New Voices often request that our readers stand up and be advocates, but sometimes it’s not easy for people to speak up – not because they don’t want to, but because they are terrified to do so.

Fear of public speaking (also known as glossophobia) is more common than you might think. Research has shown up to 70% of Americans list public speaking as one of their biggest fears.

Unlike the experience of those of us with just a normal level of nervousness during public speaking, for those with glossophobia, the anxiety does not go away as a presentation or speech continues, but increases.

The speaker notices how nervous they are, and instead of focusing on how well they are speaking, they focus on the symptoms of their anxiety, which makes the feelings worse. This often means that unlike most of us who are relieved once we are finished speaking in public, those with glossophobia are often even more anxious and upset than when they started.

There are many proclaimed cures for fear of public speaking, and some of us here at New Voices will be posting personal techniques we use to overcome our fears of public speaking. So, how do you go the distance and get over your fear of public speaking? Give 110% by letting us know in the comments and we can include your tips in our post later this month.

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