Glossophobia and Finding Your True Potential


This is the last part in a three part series about keeping your passion alive & Burning On!

Glossophobia, or speech anxiety, is commonly known as the fear of public speaking. The word glossophobia derives from the Greek word glōssa, meaning tongue, and phobos, fear or dread. Some people have this specific phobia while others may also have broader social phobia or social anxiety disorder.

Overall, fear of public speaking is by far and away America's biggest phobia - 25.3% say they fear speaking in front of a crowd. Glossophobia led by a wide margin over arachnophobia (spiders), ophidiophobia (snakes), arcophobia (heights), and arachibutyrophobia (fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth). Yep, according to a recent survey, talking in front of a room full of people is more terrifying than clowns, tall buildings, and lunchtime sandwich mishaps.

For those of you who suffer from glossophobia, fear not, there is help. There are public speaking coaches, relaxation exercises, books, and articles filled with peaking rules designed to ensure that your oration is met with adulation. Yes, time tested and sure fire tips, techniques that guarantee success.

And I ignore all of them.

Anyone who has ever been to one of my sessions or attended a presentation knows that my style is, well, unorthodox to stay the least. I move too much, talk too fast, sit people too close, and deliver too much content. Yes, I am the anti-speaker speaker.

This was not a conscious decision or done with a great deal of forethought. But after sixteen years teaching and talking to kids, I had found my voice, my style, and my message. It was authentic to me and seemed to resonate with kids!

In short, it works. At least it works FOR ME.

There is no one way to speak and if there was we could only impact or affect one type of person. I speak the way I taught, my way. Not the right way, not the wrong way, just my way. 

And I suspect you are similar in your uniqueness in your teaching, both in knowledge and delivery.

You have blessings & curses, successes & failures, and dreams & fears. You are uniquely you and have the ability to impact your students, community, and this profession in an equally unique way. 

Just know that your reach can stretch far beyond your classroom and your sphere of influence impacts more than just your students. It's important to think beyond what is immediate and right in front of you in order to know what is possible. You need to see that as you grow and evolve as a person and professional so does your influence. You many not feel or see it, but it is there for everyone else to see and believe. Sometimes you have to just trust and take the leap of faith towards your greatness. 

That is unless you have achievemephobia (fear of success). 

And yes, we can help with that too. 

Stay tuned for a big announcement!