Do you suffer from glossophobia? Glossophobia can be defined as the the fear of public speaking. The term comes from the Greek word ‘γλῶσσα glōssa’, meaning tongue, and ‘φόβος phobos’, which translates to fear or dread. If you suffer from this phobia, you shy away from any opportunity to speak in front of others.
Did you also know that glossophobia is one of the most common phobias in the world? As many as 75% of the people in this world have glossophobia. Statistically, far more of us claim that we would prefer die to doing a presentation in front of others; even comedian Jerry Seinfeld used to joke that at a funeral, most people would rather be the person in the casket than to deliver the eulogy.
The importance of learning to speak in front of an audience is undeniably intertwined with leadership, motivation, and change. While Glossophobia is common, it is certainly a fear that anyone can overcome with perseverance, the right amount of training, and motivation from others.
I myself suffer from a stuttering problem and fear that when I speak in front of an audience my articulation would not be as clear as I would want it to be. My word of advice to all business professionals who suffer from the same phobia – Practice Makes Perfect! With time, you will be able to be as good of as a speaker as King George XVI.
I leave you with a clip from The King’s Speech. Watch as one of the Greatest Historical Monarchs of the 20th Century tries to overcome his fear of public speaking to deliver a historic speech that resonated with his followers.
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