Public Speaking Phobia

Public speaking phobia is also known as glossophobia and you probably haven't got it!

by Alexis Pujol

How do we know that? Here's a link to a recent study from the US, carried out by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). 9,282 people over 18 years of age took part.

The study's Conclusion is as follows:

"Although mental disorders are widespread, serious cases are concentrated among a relatively small proportion of cases with high comorbidity."

In other words you are mathematically unlikely to have a serious case of public speaking fear.

If you look a bit closer at the results you'll see that they found 18.1% of the population had some type of "Anxiety" disorder. Glossophobia is only one tiny subset of that group.

To make this point even more clearly, here's the list of disorders that are included under the heading "Anxiety".

panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia without panic disorder, specific phobia, social phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety disorder)

Notice that glossophobia doesn't even rate a mention on its own. It's included under 'social phobia'. It's obvious from this study that only a tiny fracion of 18.1% have public speaking phobia.

This is very important to note for a couple of reasons.

It suggests that a severe fear of public speaking is most definitely not natural for human beings. Your own eyes and ears will confirm this, when you start noticing just how common it is for people to use their voice to speak out loud, one to many.

It suggests that if you feel bad at the thought of public speaking, you probably don't need to rush off to a shrink. There's a very high probability there's absolutely nothing 'wrong' with you. (Even if you are diagnosd by a Psychiatrist as having this disorder the prognosis is very good.) It suggests that you need to take another look at why you feel bad about speaking. This site is dedicated to nothing else.

A great place to start is this page which leads to a series of articles exploring the various aspects of the fear of public speaking.

I really hope they help you because I know everyone has a lot of stories that need to be told.

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