Glossophobia is the fear of speaking in public. Some estimates
suggest that between 40-75% of us view it as our greatest fear.
Not to be confused with public speaking, it is a fear that is not
restricted to standing behind a podium. For some, speaking to an
audience of one may be as terrifying as speaking to an audience
of a hundred and one.
The fear may happen in the classroom where the student prays that
the teacher doesn’t call on him to answer a question. It can
happen in the workplace where the manager experiences panic attacks
at the thought of making a presentation to her superiors. It can
happen at home where the jobseeker becomes emotionally distraught
before going on a job interview. It can happen at a party where
the possibility of meeting someone new is curtailed by butterflies
in the stomach and sweaty palms. The thought of speaking in public
can leave us frozen with fear. It can also cause us to miss out
on many academic, social, and career opportunities.
“Speak without Fear, A Total System for Becoming a Natural,
Confident Communicator” is an excellent book for anyone who
has ever dreaded speaking in public. While the book is largely geared
to the public speaker, the lessons it shares have a much broader
reach and could be applied to any of the situations listed above.
Written by Ivy Naistadt, an old friend from summer camp, it offers
a unique program that speaks to “overcoming stage fright and
developing a style of communicating that is natural and authentic.”
Unlike most other books on the subject, “Speak Without Fear,”
deals not only with the “how to’s,” but more importantly
with the “why’s.” According to Ms. Naistadt, and
endorsed by most of us in the helping professions, it is not enough
to deal with the mechanics of a problem, it is equally important
to explore the underlying root causes of it to make any lasting
Using examples from her own experiences of stage fright as an actress
on the New York stage as well as those of some of the hundreds of
business executives that she has helped since she left the theatre,
Ms. Naistadt helps us explore our own stories, our commonly held
misperceptions, our fears and most importantly, the sources of our
fears. She teaches us to challenge our thoughts about ourselves
on which we base our fears, to visualize our successes and to master
the ability to speak in public with confidence.
Whatever your comfort level in speaking in public, this is a wonderful
book full of humourous anecdotes, stimulating exercises, and excellent
suggestions to help you improve your skill, increase your motivation
and overcome your fears.
Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
“Helping Your Life Work”
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