The #1 Fear in the US and How to Deter it from Haunting You

Those two words that strike fear is countless upon countless individuals…

Public speaking.

Yes, we mean standing up in front of any size crowd and just talking – may it be something about yourself or about a particular subject matter

Glossophobia (fear of public speaking) plagues about 74% of the US population.

If you find yourself among the majority, just like any other phobia, you can overcome it or at least come up with some tricks to cope. USA Today has put together a few of those tricks to turn your public speaking engagement into a real treat.


Pick a subject that you like or might already know a lot about. Knowing what you’re talking about like the back of your hand will make everything a little less intimidating. There will be less of a likelihood you will mess up or say the wrong thing because the knowledge is second nature or it really sparks an interest in you making it easier to speak about.

You don’t have to be so serious. Laughter is a stress reliever and making your audience laugh can relive your own stress too. Try something small, it could even be a great hook for your speech to get the ball rolling.

Keep your focus throughout. If you black out on the phrase or word that was at the forefront of your mind, don’t seize up. It’s bump and in the road and a cue to just move on. Pausing too long can really make any nerves settle in - don’t let them get comfortable. Try not to pause for too long or getting caught up if the room has other distractions that move you from your train of thought.

Don’t apologize. Saying anything like “sorry, I’m a little nervous,” or “sorry, this might not be too great because I’m not a good public speaker” are lines you'll want to throw out the window immediately. By putting those syllables to the air you have confirmed your fears and made them apparent to everyone listening. This cannot only discredit you as a speaker but can also add to your own nervousness. Set yourself up for success and lead with a strong catch instead.

So write those flashcards and stand up to your fear by following these tips. Also the classic “imagining the crowd in their underwear” is never one to forget either. 


(Source: How to survive speech class and get over stage fright : USA Today) 

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