The Fear of Public Speaking also known as Glossophobia is the certain degree of anxiety people get before speaking or addressing people in public.
Glossophobia: The Fear of Public Speaking Phobia
Stage fright, although very common, are manageable by most people no matter how unpleasant it makes them feel.
Glossophobia can cause embarrassment and insecurity to its victims as they simply freeze in front of a large audience. Their mouths dry up and they are unable to speak, they might also start sweating, shaking or experience fast heart palpitations.
Glossophobics in general tend to totally avoid that would require them to address an audience.
The Fear of Public Speaking also affects business people, in that, they experience setbacks and discomfort owing to their inability and lack of composure when presenting their work.
Also, familial relationships can be stressed due to Glossophobia. For instance, a phobic may be asked to make a wedding or ceremony speech and will refuse because of his reactions and phobia.
Glossophobia also affects pilots and other aircrew and they will find it difficult to relay messages to the passengers.
This phobia is regardless and acts as such, experienced musicians and actors also experience short and long bouts of fear of speaking publicly.
The most common symptoms of the Fear of Public Speaking includes:
Anxiety and panic attacks before public speech and nervousness before addressing or performing before a group of people.
Other physical, physiological and psychological symptoms include:
- Panic attacks characterized by sweating or trembling
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting in the extreme cases
- Stiffness in the neck and back muscles
- Tense and weak or quivering voice
Apart from these physical symptoms, verbal and nonverbal symptoms might also manifest themselves such as increased blood pressure and heart rate.
Causes of Fear of Public Speaking
The exact cause of Glossophobia is unknown at the moment but it can be traced back to traumatic experiences in childhood which were unresolved and have morphed into full blown Glossophobia.
The glossophobic might avoid speaking publicly for long periods at a stretch and his/her normal anxiety worsens.
Low self esteem and lack of confidence are also chief contributing factors that can cause Glossophobia.
People who expect Perfection/Failure in everything they do also tend to become glossophobics. And also those who seek the constant approval of other people are liable to have the Fear of Public Speaking or stage fright.
Treatment & Overcoming Glossophobia
Vast amounts of both herbal and/or homeopathic remedies can help in soothing the anxiety experienced firsthand before events that involve addressing either a large/small gathering of people.
Aconitum napellus or Gelsemium, etc may be prescribed by homeopaths and expert psychologists based on the exact history, symptoms as well as the individuals nature and temperament.
Herbal remedies like Lemon balm, lavender and Passion Flower etc can also aid in reducing nervousness and calming one before a public speaking event.
In case of traditional or orthodox treatment for Glossophobia, beta blockers may be prescribed for soothing anxiety, controlling shaking or trembling and also for lowering heart rate etc.
There are several limitations and side effects on taking such medication; hence, one must especially consult a doctor about these medications when suffering from diabetes, depression or heart diseases etc.
Many public speaking courses, associations and clubs are dedicated to help individuals alleviate their Fear of Public Speaking. cognitive behavior therapy , Talk therapy, and counseling etc can also help individuals overcome their Glossophobia.
Alternative or complementary remedies like hypnosis, positive visualization, meditation and even acupuncture etc can help one find out the origin of the problem and overcome the fear of speaking publicly and stage fright.