The fear of speaking in public isn’t anything new. People with this fear have always had to deal with the sweaty palms, racing heart and dry mouth. However, modern society may be making it even more difficult to manage and to allow the people the opportunity to overcome their fears.
People don’t have to spend as much time talking to others face-to-face in any situation, much less in groups. Instead of calling someone or going to their office, you can merely send an email. Even when dealing with customer service about an issue, people have the option to message or chat online rather than speaking over the phone.
What’s the difference, you may ask. With an email or chat message, you still have time to think about what you want to say and even delete what you’re typing and start over before you hit Send. In a phone call or in-person meeting, you don’t have that option. You’re more likely to make a mistake, which is one of the main fears for people with public speaking anxiety.
A New Workforce
The workforce of today is much different from years past. More people are working from home, linking in online only when necessary. They are more isolated from co-workers and others in their business circle. While they may be more productive in this new environment, they lose out on socialization. The result is people who can do their jobs but not handle interaction as well.
Web conferences and conference phone calls have also reduced the amount of in-person interaction. Often, you don’t even see the other people when you are involved in a group call. A person may feel freer to speak because they don’t have a bunch of faces to look at. While this type of interaction does provide some benefit for those who are anxious in public, it doesn’t help them deal with their issue.
Can Anxiety of Public Speaking be Overcome?
While the need for public speaking may be reduced in many scenarios, it will never go away. Anyone who has to deal with this fear needs to work on their problem rather than trying to avoid it. Hiring a business speech coach is one way to help a person feel more confident in their ability to speak. The business accent coach can help them enunciate better and speak more clearly, so they are more self-assured when they have to speak with others.
A person who battles this anxiety must work to find ways to be exposed to speaking in front of others. Otherwise, their fear will grow larger rather than subsiding. When they are called upon to speak up, they will literally be unable to do so. Avoiding a fear doesn’t make it go away; it only makes it bigger.
Instead of hiding behind the anonymity of working online or at home, a person must continue to look for ways to develop confidence in their ability to speak in front of others.
Claudette Roche is accent training in the Vero Beach, FL area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives. In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.