Fear of public speaking 

fear-of-public-speakingFear of public speaking (glossophobia) is a typical fear and one that influences up to 75% of the population.

Some people have this particular fear, while others may likewise have more extensive social fear or social anxiety disorder. 

Read about: Panic disorder

The part of talking openly whether it be in front of a group of unknown individuals, or a group of friends, is the thing that triggers anxiety for the speaker. The speaker might feel comfortable when they speak in front of a group of strangers while speaking in front of family/friends, their anxiety triggers, and the other way around. Some people feel more convenient speaking in bigger gatherings, and some are increasingly open in small groups. The idea of Public Speaking Anxiety originates from the students’ fear of shame if they speak in front of various crowds of individuals. They usually have a dread of committing errors or failing or simply being judged by their crowd. The greater part of the nervousness that students have comes from a past encounter that finished with them committing an error or being judged by their audience or audience not being interested in the topic as the speaker suspected they would be.



Most fears appear to show up all of a sudden, frequently beginning in youth or early adulthood. A fear may emerge as a result of a blend of genetic propensities and other environmental, biological, and mental reasons. Individuals who are afraid of public speaking may have a genuine dread of being embarrassed or dismissed. Or if an individual is told to speak in front of a crowd on the spot with zero chance for preparation, and it goes poorly, he/she may start to fear public speaking. 

Moreover, other key reasons for fear of public speaking have been recognized as the novelty of the experience, the attributes of the audience, the deception of transparency and how much the speaker distinguishes open talking as a performance instead of a demonstration of correspondence. 



Symptoms of glossophobia can be divided into three classes: physical, verbal, and non-verbal. Physical indications result from the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) reacting to the circumstance with a “fight-or-flight” response. 

During the phobic reaction, adrenaline discharge delivers a wide exhibit of side effects which strengthens the “fight or flight” reaction. 

Physical symptoms include: 

  • intense hearing
  • expanded pulse and blood pressure
  • widened pupils
  • expanded sweat and oxygen intake
  • solidifying of neck/upper back muscles
  • dry mouth
  • uncontrollable shaking 
  • going blank
  • nausea when faced public speaking


Verbal symptoms include a strained or trembling voice, and vocalized stops (which will comfort anxious speakers), stumbling over words. While non-verbal symptoms usually described as avoiding eye contact with an audience, staying dependent on note cards, feeling of panic and intense anxiety. 



Glossophobia (fear of public speaking) is treatable, and usually, exposure-based therapy and exercises are the most supportive. 

In exposure treatment, an individual is shown adapting skills and, after some time, figures out how to deal with the circumstance that is causing the dread. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is valuable since it encourages a person to adequately deal with the symptoms.

Individuals with glossophobia likewise may profit by anxiety management and relaxation strategies, and a mix of a few options might be suggested.


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