I'm Afraid!
Posted by Tracy Florida, CUDE, Director, Partner Relations, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 2/6/2017

I have posted in recent past of my daughter heading off to college.  She’s doing fantastic and is enjoying her new collegiate responsibilities; sorority life, dorm living, independence, and the overall experience.  I did have to chuckle the other day when she called in a complete state of panic.  She was about to address an audience of approximately 250 students and professors to give a presentation on New England merchants from the 1700’s for her political science class.  She was feeling a lot of anxiety which included shortness of breath and heart palpitations…wow, could I relate.

The phobia of public speaking is common for most everyone.  I read somewhere recently that up to 75% of people exhibit this fear, known as glossophobia.  As described on glossophobia .com, ”glossophobia is the technical term given to a severe fear of public speaking.  People who suffer from glossophobia tend to freeze in front of any audience, even a couple of people.  They find their mouth dries up, their voice is weak and their body starts shaking.  They may even sweat, go red and feel their heart thumping rapidly.”

Does this phobia affect you too?  I was listening to an interview with Luke Bryan on the radio on Friday and he explained that he was extremely nervous as he prepared to sing the national anthem at the 2017 Super Bowl.  That, I get…how many eyes and ears heard that one!  But I thought this interesting as he performs on stage in front of live audiences all the time.  Hmmm!

Here are 7 powerful and helpful public speaking tips to keep in mind from Simon Sinek, a TED Talks presenter, inspirational speaker and a bestselling author.

  • Don't talk right away.
  • Show up to give, not to take.
  • Make eye contact with audience members one by one.
  • Speak unusually slowly.
  • Ignore the naysayers.
  • Turn nervousness into excitement.
  • Say thank you when you're done.

The reality is that there are hundreds of real phobias.  Given the conversation with my daughter, glossophobia hit close to home.  So I comforted my daughter by explaining that I too have the same fear of speaking in front of a group, even if just a few.  My heart felt for her as she prepared to address this massive audience.  My advice?  Remember to breathe and stay calm…and then I reiterated one of my favorite quotes from Babe Ruth, “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”  She did it and is now stronger for the experience.  You can do it too!

Categories: Business Partners, Sales & Service
Comments (3)
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Posted by Jane Fitzgerald on 2/6/2017 10:38 AM:
Great article and advice! Thanks for writing.
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Posted by Cheryl Sayers on 2/6/2017 11:11 AM:
Thank you Tracy! There are so many of us that speak publicly and it never changes. Always the nerves get up, dry mouth, and so on.
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Posted by Kevin Bilbrey on 2/13/2017 10:04 AM:
Great story Tracy! I am glad your daughter called for advise and that she did great!!
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