Many people's professional tasks involve regular public speaking and continuous contact with large audiences. The activities of politicians, teachers, lawyers, managers and artists are directly related to being with, interacting with, communicating with and often persuading a large group of people.
In their lives, almost everyone is faced with a situation where it is necessary to show their rhetoric and speak in front of an audience. According to psychologists, a certain level of fear of speaking is present in the vast majority of people, more than 95% of the population.
Stage fright is one of the most common phobias, which not only causes discomfort, affecting mental well-being and physical health, but also hinders the performance of work tasks and impedes career development.
Many prominent artists and musicians, who regularly perform before large audiences, are familiar with such fears. Actress Faina Ranevskaya, singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and musicians Pablo Casals, Glenn Gould and Arthur Rubinstein suffered from severe pathological stage fright.
For many people, stage fright is an important stress factor, whose untimely, inadequate and incomplete treatment and correction can become a personality-enhancing factor and move into the category of mental disorders. As a consequence of the impact of fear as a traumatic factor, the individual resorts to what is known as protective behavior.
This mechanism helps only for a time, and if the problem is not resolved later and the person cannot cope with the present fear, it is the defense mechanisms that become an obstacle to personal growth. They create new emotional problems, generate the desire to escape from reality into an "artificial world of simplification" and are the cause of mental illness.
Therefore, it is essential to recognize the symptoms, analyze the cause, make a frank and optimistic assessment of what is happening and take timely corrective psychological measures.
In psychology, the pathological fear of public speaking is called glossophobia or peyraphobia. It is necessary to clearly distinguish between the natural excitement experienced by any person before the upcoming solo monologue, addressed to a large crowd of people, both known and unknown. Thus, a quite adequate reaction of the organism, excitement, arises before the upcoming solo performance of a beginner dancer and musician, before the oral tests for university entrance. At the same time, this person will not feel anxiety, tension and fear when he has to demonstrate his talent or read a report in front of a familiar audience: colleagues, classmates, teachers.
Psychologists emphasize that a moderate amount of anxiety and excitement has its positive aspects. In anticipation of an important event man becomes more attentive, collected, energetic, as a result - his performance is successful and of good quality. But the "solo" in public for those who do not experience any anxiety is often a failure.
A person suffering from glossophobia will experience an inexplicable and uncontrollable fear during or before a performance, even in front of a familiar audience or a small group of people. The fear is not selective, but constant in public.