Fear of Public Speaking

Q: What is fear of public speaking?

A fear of public speaking is the number one fear of people today. Some people experience a strong reaction when they get up to speak in public. They might get a dry mouth, dizziness, heart pounding, and stuttering. For others, the fear of speaking in public is so great that they make sure to never be in a situation where they might end up speaking in public in the first place. This can often lead to people becoming very watchful and careful about what situations they place themselves in, so they should never be caught unaware.

While for some people having a fear of public speaking does not interfere in their lives at all, for others who regularly find themselves in situations where they are called on to perform in public, this fear can be debilitating. They can miss out on multiple career opportunities at work, they can find themselves being extremely limited in their ability to comfortably engage in religious practices, and they sometimes live in near constant fear of being put on the spot.

Q: What causes fear of public speaking?

Some people have had poor experiences speaking in public and their fear has built upon that. Sometimes it was an incident in school as a child, while sometimes it was something that happened later on in life. Other people feel uneasy by the mere fact that they are the center of attention and feel that they now have to be hyper-aware and careful that they don’t make a bad impression or ‘mess up’.


Q: Can therapy help with fear of public speaking?

Absolutely! While some people are able to experience a complete cessation of their fear, others find that therapy is able to reduce their fear. Often times, that reduction in fear is all that is needed to make the difference between success and failure in public speaking situations. In addition, the treatment for a fear of public speaking often takes a lot shorter then therapy for more pervasive issues such as anxiety and depression. For many, this effort to value ratio makes it well worth the try.

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