Speech Anxiety: Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

By John Robert Colombo

This article addresses these questions about speech anxiety and the fear of public speaking.

Why do we fear public speaking?
Is speech anxiety normal?
What can we do to face our public speaking fear and speech anxiety?

Fear of Public Speaking

Speech anxiety is a general term for the sense of fear or panic that overtakes a person when he or she is called upon to speak or otherwise perform in public. There are other ways to refer to it: anxiousness, nervousness, "the jitters", stage fright, fear of public speaking, performance anxiety, etc. It usually strikes when someone has to deliver a presentation before a group of people. It makes little difference whether the audience is large or small, composed of familiar or unfamiliar faces. Psychologists consider speech anxiety to be a special case of what is commonly known as shyness. Read more…


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