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Fear of speaking in public is number one in the list of “phobias” which 

Americans have.

 Phobia is defined as a persistent or intense fear of a certain object, 

activity or situation.

Fear of public speaking is one type of social phobia which is often 

associated or developed through a person’s adolescence.

How would you react if your boss suddenly tells you that you have to do a presentation in front of your colleagues?

If the mere thought of having to stand and speak in front of a crowd is 

enough to give you panic attacks, then you have this type of phobia.

As with all types of fears, you can learn to cope with your public speaking anxiety by recognizing the symptoms first.

Who knows? Once you are up there, you might eventually realize that you are good at giving speeches or addressing the public, and even make a living out of it.

People are always hungry for information and there is no to better way of keeping them informed than by conducting presentations and giving out speeches about certain topics which you have already “mastered”.

First, take a look at the physical and mental manifestations of a person who experiences fear of public speaking.


Being nervous before the day of your speech has several physical symptoms, which are as follows:

  1. You have butterflies in your stomach.
  1. Your palms are sweating.
  1. Your hands are shaking.
  1. Your knees are also shaking and you feel as if your legs are about to collapse.
  1. Your heart beats much faster than normal.
  1. You experience a slight dizziness or you have a “fainting” feeling.
  1. You have a stomach disorder.
  1. Your face is flushed and your mouth is dry.
  1. You have “cold sweat” all over.
  1. ‘Panicky’ thoughts.

Any of the above symptoms are quite normal, in certain situations. However, if you experience them in excess, you might have to seek professional help.

Public speaking anxiety would also lead to a lot of ‘panicky thoughts’.

You might be afraid that someone in the audience knows more about the topic than you do.

You are afraid that there is a question to come up that you are unable to answer.

You are afraid of committing a blunder for everyone to witness.

You can actually channel these negative thoughts into a more positive 

output, resulting in a spontaneous, very informative and even humorous 


By recognizing the symptoms and learning how to deal with your fear, you will eventually learn how to address the public and make it enjoyable and informative, both to yourself and your audience.