Public Speaking Anxiety Management
Does a course syllabus mentioning “required presentations” send you in search of a new major? Does the thought of enrolling in a public speaking class make you break out into a cold sweat or feel sick to your stomach…for days? Have you registered for COM 161 only to drop it during the 2nd week of the semester to avoid giving a 2-3 minute introduction speech…more than once? If you answered “yes” to one or more (…or ALL!) of these questions, don’t despair. You have come to the right place for help! Welcome to PSAM, a website designed to help you (yes, YOU!) become a more confident public speaker.
Speech anxiety or Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking, a form of social anxiety. The word glossophobia comes from the Greek γλῶσσα glōssa, meaning tongue, and φόβος phobos, meaning fear or dread. (http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Glossophobia)
You may have seen this 2013 cell phone advertisement that showcases a young boy with glossophobia nailing his speech assignment while simultaneously catching the eye of a girl in his class. This “feel good” commercial hints at the tools available on-line to help with public speaking anxiety. Although THIS website can’t guarantee you’ll find a significant other in the process, it does provide you with so much more than just hints about how to deal with your fear of public speaking. How much more, you ask? Well, kick your shoes off, get comfy, and spend a little time wandering through the site. You might just find what you need to help you manage that lonnnnggggg walk to the front of the classroom (or boardroom or meeting room or wherever…you get the idea) and deliver your presentation without throwing up or passing out, or maybe even deliver it with confidence…and a smile!!
On this website you can:
- Read about public speaking anxiety (as if you didn’t already know enough about it, right?).
- Complete one of the on-line quizzes to measure your level of public speaking anxiety. You might be surprised to discover your score, even if it’s a really high one, isn’t all that unusual.
- Practice one or more (or ALL!) of the anxiety management strategies. Every single one of them is supported by scientific research.
- Watch a video about stage fright and master a 2 minute technique (YES, you read that correctly, 2 MINUTES!) that’s just about guaranteed to boost your confidence and decrease your stress. Woohooo!
- Read about famous people who are (or were) afraid to give a speech. Yes, they’re famous and rich and probably have trainers and all that, but they’re still people who put their pants on one leg at a time and have the same fears and anxieties that the rest of us do. Read their stories; feel better about yourself. Misery loves company, right?
- Discover what other, former glossophobes, have to say about how they learned to manage their anxiety, walk up to a podium, and successfully deliver a speech. If others can do it, you can, too!
- Find links to additional resources, as well as alternate versions of the anxiety management strategies.
Really, the sky is the limit here. You could literally spend hours, maybe even days, just relaxing. I hope you take some time to learn more about public speaking anxiety and master a few of the coping and relaxation techniques provided. So… take a deep breath….inhale (count to 5) and exhale (count to 10). Lather, rinse, and repeat. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh….. Aren’t you ready to finally let go of all of that public speaking anxiety? Let’s get started!
Visitors to this resource:
Public Speaking Anxiety Management website was developed by Dr. Lou Davidson Tillson, Professor, Department of Organizational Communication, Murray State University. July 2014.