What causes the fear of public speaking?

What causes the fear of public speaking?

Coaching for stage fright, therapy for glossophobia or speech anxiety, the excessive fear of public speaking
Stage Fright

What causes public speaking anxiety?

 

When you know the causes of your speaking anxiety, it can be more easily resolved. Here are common causes of speaking anxiety.

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What causes public speaking anxiety?

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Public speaking anxiety

 

As a coach, I support my clients to present themselves and their messages compelling. As a therapist, I help people with fears and anxiety disorders.

 

 

 

Fear of speaking

 

As a coach, I support my clients to present themselves and their messages compelling. As a therapist, I help people with fears and anxiety disorders. A common issue is stage fright. Often it goes beyond that and is speaking anxiety.

 

 

 

Speaking anxiety

 

Speaking anxiety is common. For many, it represents simply a fear of public speaking, which is also known as glossophobia. For some, it may be a fear of speaking at all in any kind of public situation, including when they’re out with their colleagues and friends.

When you get nervous while speaking, your mind will have the tendency to cause significant negative self-talk, and therefore to increase the likelihood that you see negative reactions in others. This is the direct result of living with anxiety, and it is something that you can improve if you treat it correctly.

It can be challenging to overcome speaking anxiety, specifically because it is so easy to avoid most situations where it is necessary.

 

 

 

What to do?

 

There are some steps that you can take to help make it easier. One of the first things that you can do is to understand some causes for your public speaking anxiety.

 

 

 

What causes speaking anxiety?

 

There are a number of reasons why a person may experience anxiety about public speaking. Before you learn how to manage it, it is helpful to realize what causes this type of anxiety.

 

 

 

1. Hyperarousal

 

Those who suffer from anxiety will experience a heightened state of arousal, which can leave them with an overwhelming sense of fear. This fear impacts their ability to feel comfortable in front of others, which makes public speaking a difficult task. There is a high likelihood that those who experience anxiety in other areas are more prone to be anxious about public speaking.

 

 

 

2. Traumatic experience

 

Traumatic experiences can have an impact. Public speaking anxiety is often a learned behavior. That is, at some point in the past you failed, and the seed of self-doubt was planted. If you know your content and how to deliver it, there’s no reason to doubt yourself. When you insist that it will happen again, it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Plan to succeed instead.

 

 

 

3. Fear of being judged

 

When so many eyes look up at you, it may feel unpleasant. Anxious public speakers feel more visible, in the spotlight, and cannot get the instant reassurance or positive feedback that we are used to in conversation as the formal audience will simply not feel entitled to react. This leads to inner dialogs and assumptions about what the audience thinks of you.

 

 

 

4. Inexperience with socializing

 

Speaking in front of others is something you can get used to. Most good public speakers I know are great socializers. If you struggle with socializing, then it is more likely that someone also struggles with public speaking. The more frequently we talk to others, the easier we may find it to speak in public.

 

 

 

5. Lack of experience

 

Just like how more socializing can make you feel more comfortable speaking in public, so can more experience with public speaking. The more experience you get with getting up in front of a crowd and talking, the more confident you will get in your abilities, which can lessen your anxiety about it. Becoming used to getting attention is very helpful.

 

 

 

6. Negative self-talk

 

Negative self-talk is a serious obstacle for those with public speaking fears. Many imagine worst-case scenarios. They may over-analyze what occurred when speaking publicly, trying to find all the ways they messed up. Everyone misspeaks sometimes, so you’re likely going to find something no matter what, and whatever you find is then used as proof that your speaking anxiety is warranted.

 

 

 

7. Poor preparation

 

It may sound absurd, but many people with a fear of public speaking also practice less than those without that fear. That’s because they experience anxiety while practicing and try very hard to avoid that anxiety. Unfortunately, that may cause them to be less prepared. And nothing else undermines public speaking confidence like being unprepared. But nothing gives you as much confidence as being ready. Your choice.

 

 

 

8. Poor breathing habits

 

Unless you’ve been trained as an actor or singer, you’re probably unaware of how to breathe for speech. Public speaking requires more air than usual. Also, you need to control your exhalation to sustain sound through the end of your message. Diaphragmatic breathing is the way to do all of this. It’s also helpful for calming your heart rate.

 

 

 

9. Lack of relationships

 

An underestimated part about public speaking is that overall confidence in yourself plays a role. Strong friendships make people more confident. It is good to feel fully supported by those around you.

 

 

 

10. Comparing with others

 

Inexperienced speakers often do self-sabotage before they have even started with their speech. They are too preoccupied with comparing themselves with others, which often leads to negative energy and self-image. Doing this in front of an audience is distracting at best.

Don’t compare yourself with others. You need your resources to be present. And you want to be the best version of yourself instead of a copy.

 

 

 

11. Perfectionism

 

Setting impossibly high standards for yourself will kill your public speaking. Instead, set realistic, high goals for yourself and work toward them. It helps to learn how to challenge the irrational beliefs that underlie perfectionist concerns by setting realistic goals, accepting failure as a learning opportunity, and forgiving ourselves when it wasn’t completely perfect.

 

 

 

So what?

 

These are just a few examples. Many can cause the fear of speaking in front of others, like having to speak to a crowd of people who are of a higher status than you, such as experts or especially important persons. Or when having to present new ideas. Or when you know you are being judged based on your performance. Many factors can have an impact on the intensity of anxiety you have about public speaking. When you know your personal causes, it will be easier to address them in therapy.

 

 

 

Overcoming speaking anxiety

 

It can be a bit of a challenge to overcome speaking anxiety, specifically because it is so easy to avoid most situations where it is necessary. More beneficial than avoiding is to get help to overcome your speaking anxiety. This way you will change that nervous energy to a positive and thrive on stage. As a result, you will present yourself and your message convincingly.

Help with stage fright

 

If you want to be successful, then you are challenged in many places to speak and present effectively, to convince and to fight for your ideas. Unfortunately, many people remain silent because they suffer from enormous stage fright. Stage fright can have a stimulating effect. But sometimes fear outweighs and the person falls silent. So many people hold back with their ideas. This is a pity, especially if someone has something valuable to contribute.

Does stage fright or performance anxiety block you and thwart your ambitions? Then get active! It is possible to dissolve your fear of public speaking.

Since 1998 I have been helping people to present themselves and their messages convincingly. During this time I have helped many speakers with intense stage fright. Because it is sometimes more than just stage fright, I have the necessary therapeutic approval. You will be in good hands with me - if you want to enjoy your performances in front of your audience.

You can judge for yourself where the effort is worth it concerning the expected benefit. Here you can find the fees for my support.

In case you are not in Berlin right now, choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

Benefit from my experience in marketing, psychology, and communication. Find out more about me in my profile.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best via this contact form (It is up to you whether you enter personal data) or by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). Otherwise, you may reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore, you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

 

 

 

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How do you deal with stage fright or the fear of public speaking? What causes do you know?

Articles

Grounding for presence and confidence in speeches and presentations

Use grounding for presence and a feeling confident in speeches and presentations. More than just a remedy for stage fright.

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 4, 2016
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: October 23, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
H:
T: RR
#7874

Good fear, bad fear

Good fear, bad fear

How to free yourself from limiting fears.
Fears and anxiety

Good fear vs. bad fear

 

Fears are unpleasant obstacles on the way to a fulfilling life. This article is about what fears and anxiety good for and how to let go of limiting fears.

Good fear, bad fear

 

There are some obstacles on the journey to a fulfilling life to master, again and again, and again. Many of these obstacles have to do with fear.

 

 

 

Personal development

 

Fears have a huge impact on our lives. Fear reduces the joy of exploration, play, imitation, and creativity, causes stress, alters the personality. And I am writing here about the fears that many of us know.

 

 

 

Everyday fears and other anxieties

 

Some things in life are uncertain. We win something, we lose something. Not everything in life evolves as planned, and sometimes it gets harder. That’s when worries can take on serious forms.

Many people are afraid of something. Many things can frighten us humans. Some fear is justified, others unjustified or at least exaggerated;

  • the fear of being judged by other people
  • the fear of being alone, of exam situations, speaking in front of an audience
  • the pressure to perform

Fear rarely makes it better.

Fear makes life more difficult. For example, our decision-making.

Decisions also have consequences, and this can be a burden, can cause anxiety. Fear stands in the way of making clever decisions. Paralyzed by fear, the scope for creativity is not explored and used. Important conversations are avoided out of fear, or they are painful.

Many relationships are only maintained out of fear of being alone. Many stay in the job because they worry about not finding a more suitable one and finally dare to approach to their calling. A lot of challenges and therefore chances remain unexploited because of fear.

Often the fears are unjustified or at least disproportionate, and yet they slow us down, distract us, or even paralyze us. Many of them have the characteristics of demons, which on closer inspection turn out to be projections. And even if they turn out to be substantiated, it is usually better to align and design resources accordingly than to ignore them.

In the case of phobias, it becomes very obvious; avoidance makes the fear grow. There and elsewhere, avoiding unpleasant issues does not solve them, the problem just gets bigger.

How about the purpose of fear?

 

What is fear good for?

 

1. Fear is supposed to protect us

 

Hardly any human emotion has such a bad reputation as fear. People are even afraid of fear.

Fear has a vital function, it is an alarm reaction that should protect us when there is a threat. It is designed to prompt us to flee, to fight, or to exercise extreme caution.

The fear reactions are partly based on innate reflexes and some are learned. Both acute fear and worries about future events that might threaten our existence can be helpful. In the right dosage, it stimulates us to take action. But when fear prevails, it blocks us until we are paralyzed.

 

 

 

2. Anxiety promotes peak performance

 

Fear can unleash incredible powers. For a short time, the body is ready to perform at its best when anxious. Usually, this lasts as long as the dangerous situation lasts. However, increased physical abilities are not as helpful in many situations today as they were in our ancestor’s situation. Unfortunately, our cognitive abilities largely take a break in the meantime.

 

 

 

3. Physical reactions

 

When we are anxious, we notice above all the accompanying symptoms; trembling, wet hands, palpitations, rapid breathing up to shortness of breath, dry mouth, altered facial expressions, paleness or blushing, sweating, trembling, weakness, dizziness, diarrhea, urge to urinate and nausea as well as altered, limited perception up to a blackout.

Fear is a primitive system. This fear reaction is supposed to protect us from danger, and the physical reactions that accompany it are natural. This is also the case when fear and anxiety are learned reactions to an unpleasant experience. Then the strong aversion to possible risks should protect against having that negative experiences again. However, too much fear restricts the ability to act appropriately.

Where does fear come from?

 

The fear response starts in a region of the brain called the amygdala. But how and why did the human species developed that mechanism?

In human history, our species once was a source of food, our ancestors were in danger of being eaten. You and me, we are descended from those who were more careful. The ancestors who were not afraid did not reproduce so often because they were eaten in those times. This has probably left patterns during evolution. Parts of our brains have not yet adjusted to the changing world.

In our somewhat more civilized world, existential threats are usually of a different nature.

Nowadays, only a few people are consumed by hungry wild animals. But our brain still evaluates situations according to old criteria and triggers primal physical reactions. Today this no longer happens in the wild, but for example in meeting rooms and in front of an audience. It is still frightening to leave the supposedly safe center of the herd. The so often praised individuality usually aims at maintaining the security of belonging to a group. On the periphery and outside the herd we feel threatened.

A stage is not a battleground, but if the reptilian brain believes that the audience might be dangerous, you may experience severe stage fright.

Here, and in many other situations, fear no longer helps us directly to save our lives. In the best case, fear leads to an activation, like a cup of espresso. If the fear increases to a restrictive blockage or even takes on pathological forms, then it is harmful.

We get used to some fears through repetition and to others we do not. Fears are not pleasant, apart from the thrill of a horror story, a roller coaster ride, or extreme sports.

Overcome fears

 

To overcome limiting fears is worthwhile even with mild forms. Fears haunt many people into their sleep and lead to nightmares, which in turn leave traces. Here, as in other areas, unreasonable fears unnecessarily reduce the quality of life. Such ballast works under the surface, it influences perception, thinking, and acting and should be discarded.

 

 

 

Get help with fears and anxieties

 

Fear and anxieties have many forms, manifestations, effects. Each form requires different steps. While stage fright, for example, can still be handled and solved by yourself or in coaching, real public speaking anxiety or glossophobia requires competent psychotherapy. Public speaking anxiety is considered a social anxiety disorder.

Given an appropriately experienced therapist, anxiety disorders can also be treated very well, improvement, and finally resolving them will be achieved soon. However, some fears do not require psychotherapy because they are not considered pathological. These are the anxieties that are not found in the ICD-10. ICD-10 is the abbreviation for the 10th version of the International Classification of Diseases. Whether anxieties are pathological, is not always so clear. Good coaches know when to recommend an expert. By the way, for 20 years I have been helping people affected by anxiety disorders as a therapist with permission to practice psychotherapy two days a week. Yes, fear has many forms.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”, said John Wayne. So, face your demons, and you will support your personal development. Ask for support.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best via this contact form (It is up to you whether you enter personal data) or by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). Otherwise, you may reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore, you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

 

 

 

Message

 

I have read and accept the privacy policy.

11 + 14 =

Remarks:

In the address bar of your browser, the URL should begin with "https://www.karstennoack.com/...". This indicates a secure connection (SSL). Whether you enter your real name is up to you.

P.S.

 

What fears are preventing you from doing something that is actually important to you?

Articles

What causes the fear of public speaking?

When you know the causes of your speaking anxiety, it can be more easily resolved. Here are common causes of speaking anxiety.

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 20, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: September 25, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
H:
T: RR
#4521

error: Copyright