Help... I've got Glossophobia!

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Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is said to affect 75% of the population to some degree. In fact, a few people fear speaking in public more than death. You may even be one of those people. Or maybe you’re one of the majority who feels an element of stress or anxiousness when required to speak in public.

It may be that you’ve been asked to do a presentation at work about the strategic direction of the department, or you’re the father of the bride required to speak at your daughter’s wedding. Perhaps you’re expected to contribute a verbal report at a team meeting or maybe you need to speak with people at social gatherings or networking events. Then there are those presentations that have the potential to take your business to a whole new level where you’re pitching for investment or a new contract. There are circumstances in every aspect of our lives where we are required to speak in front of others and the mere thought of it fills many people with dread.

Whatever the situation, if you’re anxious about it, there are various physical symptoms that are likely to occur. You’ll find that your breathing becomes shallower, your heart races, you might start to perspire, your face will become flushed and your mouth will feel like a vacuum has sucked all the saliva out of it. Your mind might go blank and, even if you could remember what you were going to say, you’re not even sure whether your voice will come out when you open your mouth to speak.

But it is possible to overcome your fears and learn how to become better at speaking in public. I truly believe that if you increase your confidence in verbal communication you’ll not only transform your speaking but you’ll transform your entire life.

As you learn tips to become more articulate and learn how to control your nerves the benefits will become apparent through the way you hold yourself and express yourself clearly, confidently and concisely every day in every situation. Even if you don’t ever have any desire or need to speak to large audiences, the guidelines for improving your public speaking ability can apply to every interaction you have with others.

So check out my future blog posts where I will explore various elements of verbal communication and share my top tips for managing glossophobia to give you greater confidence when pitching, presenting and public speaking.

If you enjoyed this article, click here to access Mel Sherwood’s ‘Top 5 Tips for Public Speaking Success’

Mel Sherwood is a pitch and presentation specialist who prepares ambitious entrepreneurs and business professionals to take centre stage, embrace the spotlight and present with more confidence, credibility and conviction.

Mel's book 'The Authority Guide to Pitching Your Business - how to make an impact and be remembered... in under a minute!' is available on Amazon. To find out more go to or follow Mel on Twitter @MelSherwood_