Speech anxiety as an obstacle for your career

Speech anxiety as an obstacle for your career

Coaching for stage fright, therapy for glossophobia or speech anxiety, the excessive fear of public speaking
Speech anxiety as an obstacle for your career

Speech anxiety as an obstacle to your career


Stage fright is a common experience, most people know the queasy feeling as well as the sweaty fingers, and that is already unpleasant enough. But what if speech anxiety becomes a career killer?

Speech anxiety as an obstacle to your career


Karsten Noack – Travel companion for heroines and heroes. As a coach I help people prepare for their presentations, as a therapist, I help people with fears and anxiety disorders.

Presenting in front of an audience is in many jobs today, probably more the rule than the exception. Nevertheless, it makes many people nervous. But if the thought of having to speak in front of people regularly triggers symptoms such as sweating, excessive need to urinate, stomach pain, nausea, and even fainting, you probably suffer from speech anxiety or presentation anxiety. You are by no means alone with this. Most people feel a certain aversion to such situations, which reminds them of exam situations. While this is understandable, for some people it goes well beyond that. The fear turns into an anxiety disorder, speech anxiety, or performance anxiety.






This video is not a substitute for psychotherapy or personal counseling, nor is it a substitute for examination or diagnosis by a licensed medical professional. The information cannot and must not be used for self-diagnosis or self-medication.




Tips for stage fright


The recommendations for stage fright described in some articles are not very helpful for speech anxiety. Some of the suggestions may even make speech anxiety more intense. Caution is advised here.






Underlying speech anxiety is the fear of rejection. This phobia can be subdivided even further:




a. The fear of failure


The fear of failure, that you will embarrass yourself in front of the audience and be rejected, provides in advance a strong sense of shame.




b. The fear of being at the center of attention


The fear of being in the center of attention. Especially for shy people, the idea of being the center of attention is associated with a feeling of anxiety.




Speech anxiety clues


Clues of speech anxiety are:

  • Symptoms of a panic attack
  • Difficulties to concentrate
  • You avoid speeches and presentations as much as possible.
  • You are repeatedly unable to speak as usual
  • You hold back in meetings, although you have something to say.
  • You experience a blackout, although you are well-prepared and motivated.
  • You avoid situations where you may need to speak in front of several people.
  • Just thinking about public speaking leads to uncomfortable symptoms.




Speech anxiety is an anxiety disorder


The mentioned signs point to speech anxiety, an anxiety disorder. It is the exaggerated fear of making a fool of oneself and failing. It can have unconscious psychological causes and severely limit personal and professional development in the long term. Speech anxiety is characterized by low self-esteem and self-confidence. In extreme cases, those affected by speech anxiety withdraw from private relationships, for example, in order not to be forced to speak at a private event.




You are not powerless to speech anxiety


You are not helplessly at the mercy of speech anxiety! Don’t let your speech anxiety become an unmanageable obstacle to your career.

As you advance in your career, you will likely have to lead discussions in teams, give speeches, present your opinions in front of others, or convince others of your ideas. You can’t afford to be afraid of public speaking in this context. Do you want to give up the chance to fully develop your skills and personality, make a career, and be successful?






With appropriate methods and an experienced therapist, you can get rid of public speaking anxiety. Then you will take advantage of opportunities instead of passing them over to other people just because you are afraid of speaking.

Free yourself from your speech anxiety and enjoy your public appearances in front of an audience. This may be fun, at least!

Preparation of important speeches and presentations


Those who do not speak are not heard, and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered.

Do you want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least, I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do, and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

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

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience, and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with suggestions for improvement​


How persuasive are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you at the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, and numerous mistakes of my own, most of which I only discovered after a delay, I can tell you exactly what works with which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to persuade your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? If so, here is how to get helpful feedback with recommendations for improving your speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may be of interest to other readers in the comments. Looking for professional help?

If you are interested in coaching, training or consulting, if you have organizational questions, or if you want to make an appointment, you can reach me best via this contact form (you can choose whether you want to enter your personal data) or via e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). The privacy policy can be found here.

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


Speech anxiety as an obstacle for your career

Stage fright is a common experience, most people know the queasy feeling as well as the sweaty fingers, and that is already unpleasant enough. But what if speech anxiety becomes a career killer?

We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality. Seneca

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: August 20th, 2023
Translation: ./.
German version:

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