Do you feel uncomfortable speaking at social events? Did you get sweaty hands while giving a presentation in class? Have you ever trembled in fear in front of a large audience? Well, you are not alone! Over 70% of people, including me and most probably you or someone you know may have an intense fear of public speaking, also known as Glossophobia.
While this fear does not seem like a life-threatening problem, it may affect your success at school and work. It may also affect your mental health and make your day-to-day life miserable.
Fortunately, throughout these years, I have learned a few tips and tricks in which we can reduce or even overcome this fear. And here I’m to share these tips to improve your well-being.
What is Glossophobia?
So, as mentioned before, Glossophobia is the intense fear of public speaking. Easy, right?
But actually, glossophobia isn’t a psychologically diagnosed condition. It is actually not a specific phobia. Because people with glossophobia don’t really think they will die while giving a speech or a presentation. Instead, they get an outrageous amount of anxiety because of the fear of being judged or looked down upon by others.
Thus, glossophobia actually comes under social anxiety disorder. And we’re not here to diagnose or treat any disorder. If you have such a disorder, or your anxiety seems to have a destructive effect on your mental and physical health, it is advisable to take professional help.
How do you know if someone has Glossophobia?
Hmm. Now, this part is quite tricky! People with glossophobia are usually hard to spot, as they function as normal people at home or workplace as long as they don’t have to address a large group of people.
On my first encounter with this fear, I was about to give a speech in the morning assembly when I started sweating a lot and my chest felt heavy as if I was about to faint. After the incident, I tried my best to avoid public speaking. Even at the expense of losing grades over a presentation.
The signs are not the same for every person, but people with glossophobia try their best to avoid such events and places where they might have to talk to a large group of people. It may present differently in adults and kids.
Adults with this fear experience hiding and avoiding such situations. They seem to be quiet and introverted. And show passive non-verbal conversation, like poor eye-contact or taking long pauses. Also, have the habit of saying “NO” to most of their invitations and avoid social gatherings.
Some people also use alcohol or other drugs to relieve their stress and reduce their symptoms before addressing a large group of people. Kids get into a panic mode and may appear scared or even rude in many situations. Because of their deep-rooted fear of public speaking, children often seem to be disrespectful in situations where they have to address a crowd.
What Are The Symptoms?
There are a lot of symptoms to determine a person with glossophobia. It ranges from high levels of anxiety when asked to speak in front of a crowd to more severe cases, such as having a panic attack. As mentioned above, it is crucial to seek professional help when glossophobia interferes with your daily life and mental health.
What Triggers This Fear?
There are a lot of causes that could trigger glossophobia in an individual. Biologically inherited traits and family history of anxiety can be a major cause of glossophobia. A person’s brain physiology or life experiences may also become a major cause that triggers this fear. If you had a traumatic or a negative experience with public speaking may also have contributed to this fear of yours.
Let’s Overcome The Fear Together!
Despite the complexity of this condition, I came across a few useful tips which helped me conquer my fear of public speaking. I hope they help you as well-
- Shift the focus from yourself and your fear of something that makes you happy. It can be that one person from the audience who is cheering for you.
- Stop scaring yourself about what might go wrong and keep yourself relaxed. If you find it difficult to do so, count to ten.
- Minimize thoughts of self-doubt and low confidence before the event.
- Practice deep breathing exercises when you feel anxious.
- Regular relaxation exercises, yoga, and meditation help to build a healthy and anxiety-free mind.
- Exercise, eat well and practice other healthy and wholesome lifestyle habits.
- Avoid or limit the intake of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and drugs as much as possible.
- Visualize your success while speaking.
- Prepare yourself very well in advance and practice out loud to hear and accustom to your voice.
- Smile and give warm greetings to the audience, thinking of them as friends.
- Be yourself. Be your natural self while presenting to avoid extra and unnecessary pressure.
- If the symptoms are very serious, go for therapy or seek professional help.
Do you also think you have glossophobia? What do you do to overcome this fear? Tell us your secret in the comments below. And don’t forget to like, comment, and share your opinion. We hope this will help you overcome your fear and make you more confident and successful in life. Stay tuned with Blogger Bunny for more such interesting blogs. Also, visit our blog How to defeat your helpless feelings.