Speaking in public is the number one phobia and most of us suffer from speaking anxiety at one level or another.
Speaking Anxiety is the number one social phobia and if you are one of the many sufferers it can make your life much more difficult than it needs to be.
There are 8 levels of Speaking Anxiety ranging from no anxiety at all to acute anxiety. These 8 levels are
Level 1. No Anxiety. Willing and able to speak to anyone, anywhere including Public Speaking in front of large groups.
Level 2. Able to speak to anyone and will speak to small groups when confident about the topic. An example of this is a teacher talking in front of a class.
Level 3. Able to speak to people you know plus strangers in any situation. Strangers you might meet on a bus, train, party etc where you have to speak for an unlimited amount of time - you can't easily get away.
Level 4. Can speak to people you know plus strangers when only a few sentences are required. Examples are shop assistants, receptionists etc.
Level 5. YOu can speak to family, friends, work colleagues and bosses and teachers - or other people in authority.
Level 6. Will speak to family, friends and work colleagues.
Level 7. Will only speak to family and close friends.
Level 8. Acute Anxiety. Only comfortable speaking to family.
Most of us fall in the middle from level 5 to level 3 and can manage quite well at this level.
However sometimes a change in job or family circumstances may mean we need to move from one level to another level. This can be quite easily achieved with the correct training.
Confident speaking is a skill which can be learned.
Some people are just naturally quiet but are confident enough to be able to speak when they have to.
Other people are very shy and think that they're going to somehow make a fool of themselves if they speak.
Others think that they sound strange, they imagine they've got a speech impediment when they haven't. This could be the result of being teased when they were younger.
A minority of people do actually have a speech impediment (lisp, stammer etc) and feel awkward when speaking to people they don't know.
There are many books which aim to help reluctant speakers but if you're convinced that you sound awkward, or you're so shy that you panic at the thought of speaking, you'll find it a lot easier to improve with individual sessions with a qualified tutor.
Serena Greenslade is qualified in Speech Training and has been helping people get the best out of their speaking for the last 12 years. For more information see http://www.afraid-of-speaking-a-speech.com
Web Site: Afraid of Speaking
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