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Glossophobia, Alektorophobia and more...

A Phobia Worse Than Death?
 
You’ve heard it a million times: the number one human phobia is Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.  It seems like nonsense, doesn’t it?  That speaking in public could be more terrifying to more people than, say, death, or being stuck in a lift with Kanye West.  But consider the consequences. 
 
Yeezus
 
Inclusion in a social group is a fundamental human need for most of us. Public failure can mean shame, mockery, and ultimately exclusion. So technically you’re not irrational to be afraid of public speaking, or at least, failing at public speaking, even though the consequences usually aren’t as dire as we imagine.  What’s irrational is allowing your fear to stop you doing it. Why?
 

  1. The more you do it, the more you’ll improve. That’s because practice makes perfect, but you’ll also desensitise yourself from the huge anticipatory buildup and the catastrophic all-or-nothing thinking that goes with it.

 

  1. You can’t escape it – the ability to address an audience has become integral to the corporate world. Whether it’s a quick scrum, standup, or a full conference keynote, you’re going to have to face it sooner or later.

 

  1. There are practical tools to overcome both your anxiety and any shortfalls in your presenting skills. We know what they are and we’re prepared to tell you. Our free guide to managing presenting nerves can be found here.

 
So there you go.  We’ve just solved one of the greatest evils in the world – the terror of public speaking.
 
Fear Itself
 
BUT! Phobias make up an important part of self-identity. Are you resisting our confidence-bestowing training simply to cling to this important character trait?  Fear not! Or rather, fear something else! You may like to consider replacing your fear of public speaking with one of the following interesting phobias.
 
Alektorophobia: dropped casually in conversation, it sounds like you’re afraid of elections, which is understandable these days. It’s actually a fear of chickens. Nasty scaly-legged clawmonsters, direct descendant of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, all mad eyes and cloaca. Horrors.
 
Nephophobia: Most of us are afraid of our nephews. They’ll put sticky fingers on your good Prius. They’ll start talking about Minecraft and never, ever, stop until they’re 19 and start asking for a job. But Nephobobia isn’t the very rational fear of nephews, it’s a fear of clouds. Now that’s an intriguing phobia. What about clouds? Their deceptive fluffiness? Their malevolent ability to shut out the sun? Their habit of looking briefly like other things, sort of, if you squint? This phobia has the pleasant quality of variety, with new, unexpected clouds coming to terrify you daily.
 
Nomophobia: We all have this, we just didn’t know its name. It’s the fear of being out of cellphone coverage, or not being able to connect to the internet.  Forget burning 5G towers, some of us would strap one to our head if we had half a chance. 
 
Turophobia: fear of cheese. This is a real dinner party icebreaker. Win the fascination of your fellow guests by turning down the caprese salad AND the gruyere and broccoli soufflé. Then the cheesecake is followed by the cheeseboard and you hide in the scullery, whimpering quietly, trying to edge further away from a packet of Twisties.  That’s way more interesting than a fear of public speaking, although you may not be invited back.
 
Scary Stuff
 
There we have it, some interesting new phobias to choose from once you’ve conquered your fear of speaking in public. We’re behind you all the way, unless your phobia is someone being behind you. Did you know there’s no name for that?  Which makes it even scarier somehow. Sorry.  The Pickering Group is here though, to coach you through your fears and beyond, into inspiration. Download our white-paper on persuasive speaking, Evasion to Inspiration here, our courses here, our virtual training options here, or follow us on social media. Not too closely.

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