Why Do You Fear Public Speaking And How To Use Xmind To Prepare A Killer Speech

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Have you ever felt your heart racing, palms sweating, and voice shivering during a public speech? Even thinking about giving a speech makes your stomach sick. What you go through is actually called Glossophobia - a psychological condition where a person undergoes an irrational fear in public speaking.


People endure both physiological and mental breakdowns in which they may avoid speaking in public at any cost. However, like other common 'phobias', with supportive data, glossophobia is confirmed to be affecting a large portion of the population as well. So you are definitely not alone.

According to professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, Dr. Jeffrey Strawn, a fear of public speaking is shown mostly in personal with social anxiety disorder. This indicates that if you often find yourself experiencing discomfort in public or mentally feeling 'tighten up' in social settings, you might be more likely to have glossophobia. But this is not an indicator.


What are phobias?

Phobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by persistent fear and dread of certain things or situations. Individuals' avoidance behavior is often greater than the likelihood of actually encountering the fearful situation. Also, some research finds that phobia can be genetically passed on. So let's say if your parents fear spiders, you are likely to fear them too. image Yes, there are many people who are terrified of 'water'. It might sound unbelievable, but don't ridicule when someone confesses - Just like many of us are afraid of speaking in front of a group.

Glossophobia - Why is it like this?

The causes

There might not be exact causes to fear public speaking even though it is a common phobia. However, several combined perspectives are worth looking into. Some researchers find that psychological factors (with genetic pass-on) and social experiences can contribute to developing glossophobia.

Frankly speaking, you could be psychologically prone to feel anxiety when being exposed to a large audience. A rather unacquainted environment with all sorts of perceptual stimuli coming your way could be overwhelming. And, how were you raised and what you went through in the past could also be contributing factors.

The environment you grew up in, education, your mom and dad's parenting skills, school kids who bully you badly, being ridiculed, rejected, embarrassed when you speak your thoughts… Personal experiences vary widely, but the negative social encounters in the past projected to current moments are not deniable. How the world interacts with you shapes your coping method and defense mechanism. image

The symptoms

Your body is honest with you when you are under stress. Physiological reactions would occur to mitigate the impact resulting from anxiety - Conditions like increased blood pressure and perspiration, dry mouth, stiffening muscles of the upper back, nausea, and racing heart are all very common. Some people might experience much more severe symptoms. Other than your body, your mind goes through a struggling journey too, so to speak.

The treatment

There's a way to treat phobias, glossophobia included. In general, exposure exercise is believed to be the most effective way in general. Individuals learn to manage their fear - to cope with them by practicing a relaxing method. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely applied in the treatment of phobias.


With all the above said, there are times that you simply cannot avoid public speaking. What do you do in the preparation of a speech? Here is something you need to know.

What's important to make a great speech?

1. Clear Purpose

Knowing your audience is very important. Who are the people you are giving the speech to? For instance, if the audience is mostly middle-aged, gen-z memes are probably not the first choice in tailoring your words.

2. Strict Time Frame

People's attention span is not wide and consistent. We are very easy to be drawn away from focus. So sometimes a succinct speech calls for more attention.

3. Fulness of Your Content

Make your speech vivid and story-telling. Listing data and statements can be very tedious to listen to. Your content needs to be dynamic.

4. Language Commonness

Academic terms are very dry. Understand that your audience does not have the same academic background as you or simply does not know your slang. Or you want your words to sound fancy and sophisticated, but it pulls you away from the audience - The Fourth Wall now is not going anywhere. image

Preparation 101

1. Practice makes it perfect

DO NOT play on the spot, seriously. Especially with a brand new field or topic that you've never learned before. Always prepare your speech with enough practice. For example, stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself when you talk. This allows you to monitor your posture and facial expression. You can also record yourself and playback it to learn your tone and punctuation.

2. Memorize your outline

Most of the time, public speaking requires you to be paper-free. You do not have your entire speech content with you on the stage. It is very easy to get lost in what to say next. In this situation, logic comes first place - You don't have to be rigorous with your content, but the messy structure of your story is very confusing to the audience. image

3. Speak Your Story

Talk about something that happens in your life and mix it into your content. People are more likely to feel close to you when they can empathize with your story. It is more attractive when you speak from a real-life angle. Your words are filled with emotions and sincerity, and people love realness.

4. Spotlight Those Who Interact with You

Now imagine you are already nervous - the Glossophobia kicked in. And you have to keep eye contact with your audience. It could feel more lost and unnerving. Don't spread your attention to everyone. Focus just on those who interact with and seem interested in your speech - Simply those who are more friendly to you. Positive feedback during a speech helps too.

5. Pace Yourself

Don't speak too fast, even though people tend to mumble when they are nervous. Please keep it in mind to talk slower, and try to speak clearly. Also, your tone is important too. Practice your accent and intonation to sound engaging.


Trust me when I say the mind map speaks to you in the preparation of a speech. A clear presentable structure of your logic mapped out helps you comb your thoughts - But don't just mind map your content, use it all the way through! Give Pitch Mode a try and transform your traditional presentation with vivid animation.

p.s. a psychology trick says to you: "If you are drunk preparing, then you should get drunk when you present."


References

https://www.psycom.net/glossophobia-fear-of-public-speaking

https://www.osmosis.org/answers/glossophobia#:~:text=Specific%20triggers%20of%20glossophobia%20will,job%2C%20or%20going%20to%20school.

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