Ever heard of Glossophobia? Even if you don’t recognize it by it’s Greek name, you’ve probably experienced it. It is often accompanied by rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, shortened vocal chords and overall anxiety. In other words, it’s the fear of public speaking.
“It is even scarier than rattlesnakes,” Paul L. Witt, PhD told WebMD in an interview about his study, published in Southern Communication Journal. “The idea of making a presentation in public is the No. 1 fear reported by people in the U.S. And it’s not just making a speech. Anxiety strikes any time we present our ideas in front of other people.”
The statistical rank of the top ten global fears is
1. Public speaking or stage fright – Glossophobia
2. Death and end of life – Necrophobia
3. Spiders and other arachnids creatures – Arachnophobia
4. Darkness and twilight – Achluophobia, Scotophobia or Myctophobia
5. Heights, altitude or elevations – Acrophobia
6. People or social situations – Sociophobia
7. Flying in airplanes – Aerophobia
8. Open spaces and squares – Agoraphobia
9. Natural thunder and lightning – Brontophobia
10. Confined spaces or small rooms – Claustrophobia
With the business name, “BeverlySpeaks“, it’s not surprising that I am often asked for tips on how to make the most of opportunities to speak to a group. If you are in any type of leadership role, there will be occasions you need to address a group. With proper preparation, you can do it and do it well.
3 Tips on Speaking with Confidence
1. Be yourself. Competence gives you confidence and you’ve had lots of practice being you. Authenticity will allow your heart to shine through your intellect. It takes both to win your audience.
2. Don’t read – ENGAGE with your listeners. Condense your notes to bullet points and take a 4″ x 6″ index card to the podium. You can write your message out word for word for practice only. If you have lengthy notes, you will be tempted to read them. Don’t do it.
3. Incorporate stories. If people want straight information, they would just Google it. Your stories bring your message to life and make it memorable.
The video version is 3 tips in 3 minutes. The reason it’s only 3 minutes is a bonus tip: Keep it UNDER the time allotted. It’s always better to err on the side of brevity than by talking too long.