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The fear of public speaking is called glossophobia, from the Greek glosso-, meaning tongue, and phobia, fear or dread. Glossophobia is more commonly known as stage fright. It is believed to be the single most common phobia, affecting as much as 75% of all people. When ranked among fears, it generally is the number one fear, even beating out death. In his stand up comedy routine, Jerry Seinfeld observed that in a funeral setting "the average person would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy." Glossophobia is considered a social phobia and may be linked to, or sometimes precede, a more severe anxiety disorder. more...

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Symptoms include intense anxiety prior to, or simply at the thought of having to verbally communicate with any group, avoidance of events which focus the group's attention on individuals in attendance, and may even include physical distress, nausea, or feelings of panic in such circumstances. Many people report stress-induced speech disorders which are only present during public speech. Some glossophobics have been able to dance or perform in public as long as they do not have to speak, or even speak or sing as long as they cannot see the audience.

The root cause of glossophobia, although unknown, can be attributed to either a single tramautic incident, whether experienced personally or associated with someone who has, a slow build-up from merely avoiding public speaking to a more severe form of glossophobia.

Some organizations, such as Toastmasters International, and training courses in public speaking may help to reduce the fear to manageable levels. Self-help materials that address public speaking are among the best selling self-help topics.

Several musicians have the fear of publicly performing, including Barbra Streisand and Dusty Springfield.

Some affected people have turned to certain types of drugs, typically beta-blockers to temporarily treat their phobia. Alcohol is another common "cure", but more dangerous and not recommended.


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Stop Picturing Your Audience Naked
From Reviewer's Bookwatch, 5/1/05 by Bonnie Jo Davis

Stop Picturing Your Audience Naked (Beating the Fear of Public Speaking)

Scott Ann Setzer

Setzer & Associates

2580 Sierra Blvd. Suite C, Sacramento, CA 95825 800-767-6316

ISBN: 0976825007 $12.95 32 pp.

People all over the world, of various ages and different cultures suffer from Glossophobia (the fear of speaking in public.) Seventy-five percent of all Americans including celebrities such as Carly Simon, Antonio Banderas and Nicole Kidman admit to having a fear of speaking in public.

If you type the phrase "fear of public speaking" into a search engine or on you will find thousands of overpriced books, seminars and unbelievably expensive coaching. Chances are that unless you know Scott Ann Setzer you will throw away hundreds of dollars and waste hours of research in the hope of learning to overcome your fear of speaking in public so you can make that sales presentation next Tuesday.

Luckily you can stop throwing away your hard earned money and save yourself valuable time because you are about meet Scott Ann Setzer. Despite her own paralyzing fear of speaking in public, Ms. Setzer built a career giving presentations to thousands of clients both big and small, for profit and not-for-profit. One of her most popular presentations loved by audiences worldwide is "Stop Picturing Your Audience Naked." This presentation has been captured on CDs, DVDs and in a new soft cover book by the same title.

Anyone suffering from a fear of speaking in public (including celebrities) can benefit from reading "Stop Picturing Your Audience Naked." The size of this charming book makes it clear that good things do come in small packages that don't waste your precious time and money. As you open this slender book you immediately realize that overcoming your fear is going to be fun and stress free. Gorgeous colors are used throughout to emphasize text and the hilarious cartoon illustrations. The book opens with facts, figures and anecdotes to educate the reader and help them to realize that they are not alone in their fear.

Clearly laid out throughout the book are the tips, techniques and strategies you need to get ready for your next big presentation. Ms. Setzer covers physical preparation, mental preparation, your voice, body image, your audience, your presentation and more.

This delightful, funny and helpful book should be in every high school, college and public library. Entrepreneurs, business owners, management and employees should have a copy of this book on their desk in order to refresh their memories before they stand up to present. Speaking skills are a critical success factor in the business world and in other places such as churches and clubs. Buy this book, read it from cover to cover, and take it with you when you need to make a speech. You'll find yourself having fun with your audience while you grow your business or promote your cause!

Also available from the publisher is the book combined with a CD of the presentation by the same name for $24.95 or the book combined with a DVD for $32.95. These combination packages would make a great gift idea for a colleague, friend or family member.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Midwest Book Review
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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