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Healthcare > Glossophobia - Fear of Public Speaking
Glossophobia - Fear of Public Speaking

The word glossophobia comes from the Greek γλῶσσα glōssa, meaning tongue, and φόβος phobos, fear or dread.

It’s often associated in theatrical circles with stagefright. It can be extremely debilitating, especially if you are required to speak to collected groups of people in meetings, conferences and tendering for contracts as part of your job.

Glossophobia can cause the following symptoms:

- Dry mouth & throat
- Sweating
- Nausea
- Momentary paralysis
- Difficulty in making even the tiniest sound (dysphonia)
- Increased heart rate
- Muscular stiffness in the neck & back

In extreme cases, some people are prescribed beta blockers in order to calm them before a big speech. However medication should be final resort.

Vocal coaching affords you the opportunity to learn and become comfortable with vocal techniques that will help to allay your anxiety as well as give you the knowledge to control your voice more efficiently.

Nothing can be a cure all, but knowledge is power and the more technically proficient you are the less likely you are to feel incapable or phobic.

It’s also good to note that a degree of nervousness is entirely natural and that it is estimated that 95% of speakers experience some sort of pre-performance anxiety, so please excuse the pun when I say ‘fear not’!

© Leon Trayman, TemperVox. 05.01.2011

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