Helping Your Life Work
March 1, 2006
Volume 2, Issue 3


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 changes.

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
416 498-1352
“Helping Your Life Work”

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