Fear of public speaking (Glossophobia) is more common than you think. If you’re worried about speaking in public, you’re not alone. I was also one of those people who suffered from the fear of speaking in front of others. But with time I managed to overcome it.

It’s completely normal to suffer from fear before making a speech. However, there are ways to overcome your fear so you can deliver powerful public speeches. Noone became a great speaker without some struggles.

To overcome the fear of public speaking, first, you need to understand what it is. If you are still struggling with public speaking, this article is for you. this is a complete guide to understanding and overcoming from fear of public speaking (Glossophobia)

What is the fear of public speaking?

Glossophobia, which is the fear of speaking publicly, is quite widespread. According to some experts, up to 77% of people experience some degree of anxiety when it comes to public speaking. Of course, many people can manage and overcome anxiety.

If your anxiety is severe enough to cause issues at the workplace, school, or even in social settings, you may have an extreme fear of public speaking. But I can assure you that you can overcome this challenge.

The science behind the fear of Public Speaking(Glossophobia)

The fear of public speaking is an anxiety disorder. If you don’t take the necessary actions it could become worse. You won’t be able to carry out your day-to-day, and work life.

There could be multiple reasons which trigger Glossophobia. Some of them might be genetic, social, biological, or even environmental. But most of the time Glossophobia could happen due to negative past experiences.

The thought of doing a presentation or a speech in front of others triggers anxiety. This is a classic example of a fight or flight situation. Because you are threatened, your brain release steroids and adrenaline. This will cause a chain of reactions. Like sweating, shortness of breath, increased heartbeat, trembling, and dry mouth.

Are there treatments for fear of public speaking?

Fear of public speaking is different from person to person. Some might feel fear and some might paralyze by the thought of having to do a speech. many people can of come the fear of public speaking with the right planning, practicing, speaking, evaluation, and continuing.

But if you have chronic anxiety and can’t overcome it by practicing it is recommended to find professional help. That way specialized doctors can determine the cause of your fear. After that, they will recommend you techniques and tips to reduce your fears. Sometimes they will prescribe some medications to calm your anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one approach that can be effective in treating the fear of public speaking.

In this article, we will guide you through five steps to overcome your fear.

Public Speking Statistics

Let’s focus on some public speaking statistics. By reading these statistics you will understand that public speaking is a common and easily curable social anxiety.

  • Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, is thought to affect 75% of adults. (NBC News)
  • Approximately 10% of the population enjoys public speaking.
  • 10% of the population is truly terrified of speaking in front of people.
  • The most common social fear is the fear of public speaking.
  • Only 8% of people who suffer from social anxiety or fear of public speaking seek professional help
  • Public speaking anxiety (PSA) is classified as a social anxiety disorder by American Psychiatric Association.
  • Students who are afraid of public speaking can do well if they use specific strategies to overcome their fears.
  • Up to 10% of people with a fear of public speaking report that their public speaking anxiety interferes with daily activities such as work and education.

Source: 21 Public Speaking Statistics and Facts

The Different Types Of Public Speaking Anxiety

To understand the fear of public speaking, I think we should read about “Communication Apprehension”. According to James C. McCroskey, communication apprehension is a degree or measure of anxiety triggered by a real or anticipated communication act.

McCroskey believes that there are four kinds of anxiety about communication. These include anxiety caused by factors like trait, context, audience, and situation. So by reading the following four kinds of communication anxieties, you can figure out what causes your fear of public speaking. Then we can plan a strategy to overcome this fear of speaking in front of an audience.

Source: Communication Apprehension

Trait Anxiety

Do you prefer to make decisions fast, or do you spend your time making these decisions? Do you choose to be with only a handful of individuals or a large group? Are you looking for new experiences, or are you more comfortable with your routine?

The traits we’ve acquired throughout our lives influence our physical and psychological reactions to the incidents. These personality traits indicate how we react to conversations across various contexts, says McCroskey. Those who have trait anxiety always try to avoid social communication. Because it is part of their daily behavior. This type of person might struggle in public speaking due to inherent predispositions or learned behavior.

Context Anxiety

Public speaking is the most known example of context anxiety. Context anxiety is triggered due to a specific context. For example, you might be very comfortable joking and speaking with your classmates. But once your teacher asked you to do a presentation or a speech in front of the same classmates you feel anxiety. You might want to escape from the class. This is called context anxiety.

Furthermore, you could be a calm and confident public speaker until you face the challenge of a new context. Like speaking during your company meetings or delivering a speech using technologies you’ve never tried before. You may shine in usual contexts but are afraid of specific contexts.

Audience Anxiety

Certain types of audiences can lessen or even increase the anxiety of public speakers. Perhaps a group of friends can provide comfort, whereas strangers can increase your fear. In reverse. Researchers have discovered certain assumptions that the speaker has regarding the characteristics of an audience, such as perceived similarities or professionalism, social status, and even familiarity, can affect the speaker’s anxiety level.

The size of the crowd can also influence the speaker’s anxiety. In some cases, huge crowds are more intimidating than smaller groups. For other people, it might be the opposite.

Situation Anxiety

Situation anxiety is often triggered by specific situations. You might know of a such thing until you face it. Sometimes this could be a result of the audience and specific contexts.

When circumstances combine to produce an unmistakably nerve-wracking experience you will feel the fear of public speaking. For example, someone started heckling your speech Or the speaker before you got thunderous applause and support from the audience. Sometimes when you have to deliver troubling and sensitive information to your team you might get situation anxiety.

Even if you’re familiar with your audience, which generally eases anxiety, and you’ve everything prepared for the speech, another situational aspect could hinder your ability to handle your fear.

How to overcome the fear of public speaking

How to get over fear of public speaking

The fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears that people have. It can be a very debilitating fear, preventing people from pursuing their dreams and goals. However, it is possible to overcome this fear. There are a number of techniques that you can use to overcome the fear of public speaking.

One of the most effective techniques is to imagine that you are speaking to a group of friends. This will help you to relax and feel more comfortable. Another technique is to focus on the positive aspects of public speaking. Rather than thinking about the potential for failure, think about the benefits of success. This will help to motivate you and give you the confidence you need to succeed. Also, remember that everyone feels nervous when speaking in public. The key is to relax and go with the flow. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it. Just keep going

The reason you are afraid isn’t that you don’t know what your topic is. It’s because you aren’t sure what will occur when you stand up before all of them. Fear of being assessed, getting caught out, and not being up to par or injured can hinder a successful performance. Be aware that people in the audience genuinely want you to be successful. No one wants you to fall flat or fail. If you’re from a real place and you’ve covered the subject clearly, you’ve won the battle of 75% of your internal fight with anxiety.

Follow these five steps to get over your fear of speaking in public.


Preparation is the key to success. When preparing for a speech there are many things you need to cover. Like finding a comfortable topic to speak about, writing a speech script, preparing visual aids, deciding on your gestures, and selecting the clothes to wear.

Preparing the above things can help anyone to build their self-confidence. For example, when you are delivering an icebreaker speech to break the ice between you and your audience you need concrete preparation. Because your first speech could build many profitable relationships with your audience.

Reading sample speeches, and watching speeches on youtube can help in this stage. Read my first icebreaker speech sample to get inspired.


Visualization is a powerful method of achieving goals. I personally do this before every speech and I strongly recommend you do so.

Imagine you are giving a great talk to an enthusiastic audience. So try to visualize every step starting from getting to the podium, to delivering your speech confidently and with ease, to the applause that follows at the end.

The inclusion of all the positive emotions is critical to building your confidence. The more you visualize the more you feel relaxed. But first, it might get uncomfortable. Sometimes you only see negative scenarios. It is a process that requires practice to achieve this successfully. If you’ve been practicing meditation, you might be able to make it easier to utilize visualization.

Visualization isn’t identical to positive thinking. Instead of having positive thoughts, it’s about creating a positive outcome. The idea is that we keep our thoughts as memories. The confidence you have increases when you experience a positive experience. For many people, the visualization process can be as effective as an experience.

positive self-talk

Most of the time our failure is our negativity. As with most people, you probably have a voice in your head that yells at you when you’re under pressure or anxiety. Before you present a speech, there is a possibility that you hear your own voice saying, “I am going to mess this up,” “I should have prepared more,” or “I am going to fail.”

Negative self-talk frequently leads to negative results since it causes you to feel even more anxious and anxious. The way to break the cycle of negative self-talk is to use self-talk as a tool to guide or inspire, not create anxiety and prompt failure.

So say to yourself that you are going to do this no matter what. You are going to stand straight, with your shoulders back and you are going to deliver a great speech. Say that “Yes I Can”

Practice, practice, practice!

Everything we do is practice for something greater than where we currently are. Practice only makes for improvement.

Les Brown

Practice makes perfect. No matter how great you think you are, you won’t be great at conquering your fear of public speaking unless you practice.

Do your best to practice your entire presentation multiple times. Don’t forget to practice in front of a mirror. Try it in front of a few people who are comfortable with you, and then ask for feedback. You can speak in front of your family or friends. Try speaking in front of children or teenagers. If you can grab their attention you can definitely win over an adult audience.

It might also be beneficial to practice it with a couple of individuals with whom you’re not experienced. Make a video of your presentation to look at and spot potential improvement areas.


Fear of public speaking or Glossophobia is the most common social phobia in the world. For some people, the thought of public speaking can give chronic anxiety.

With the right planning, preparation, and other techniques you can become great at public speaking. To do that first you understand the science behind this. If we look at the Communication Apprehension theory, there are four types of anxieties that could result in fear of public speaking.

In this article, we talked about four steps that anyone could take to overcome their fear of public speaking. By preparation, visualization, positive self-talk, and practice you can become a great public speaker. I wish you good luck on your public speaking journey.


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