The Anxiety of Public Speaking Term Paper by Nicky

The Anxiety of Public Speaking
A discussion on the anxiety experienced as a reaction to public speaking.
# 149137 | 1,749 words | 8 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 25, 2011 in Communication (Language and Speech) , Psychology (Therapies)

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The paper discusses how most people will have a reaction to public speaking, with anxiety symptoms that can range from a dry mouth and sweaty hands to not being able to breathe or actually blacking out. The paper looks at the different methods that businesspeople can follow, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, relaxation techniques and spiritual support, that will effectively break the cycle and reduce the degree of anxiety.

From the Paper:

"Ask a very self-confident, high-achieving executive to present a speech and this person may actually start to sweat and get nauseas. Anxiety, and even panic attacks, is quite common with fear of public speaking or "glossophobia." Studies show that neurological changes, such as cortisol levels occur in these individuals prior to the speech (Roberts, Sawyer, & Behnke, 2004). Research finds that there are ways to influence the pre-conscious and conscious levels of these individuals so that anxiety can be reduced. Businesspeople have several proven options on how they can tackle their public speaking anxieties.
"The concept of anxiety and its causes has been studied for decades. Sullivan (1949), one of the first to study and define the term, saw anxiety as experiencing the threat of losing the sense of self security. The "self system" was an organization of security operations designed to deal with anxiety and re-establish a sense of security. Sullivan helped his patients to notice "marginal thoughts," which occurred alongside of what one was centrally thinking-in one's peripheral field so to speak, and thus the rudiments of cognitive behavior therapy are seen here. These marginal thoughts have the potential of being more of interest than what was actually being reported. According to Schultz (2006), Sullivan's anxiety perspective has a relevance to psychotherapeutic approach. Instead of trying to eliminate anxiety with medications, or other means such as alcohol, it is more important for the therapist and patient to face the conflicts that are at the root of this anxiety."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Addison, P., Clay, E., Xie, S., Sawyer, C., & Behnke, R. (2003) Worry as a function of public speaking state anxiety type Communication Reports. 16(2), 125.
  • Beck, A.T., & Emery, G. (1985) Anxiety Disorders and Phobias. A Cognitive PerspectiveNew York: Basic Books.
  • Clark, D. M., Ehlers, A., McManus, F., Hackmati, A., Fennell, M., & Campbell, H. (2003). Cognitive therapy versus fluoxetine in generalized social phobia: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 1058-1067.
  • Clay, E., Fisher, R.L., Xie, S., Sawyer, C.R., & Behnke, R.R. (2005). Affect Intensity and Sensitivity to Punishment as Predictors of Sensitization (Arousal) During Public Speaking. Communication Reports. 18(1/2), 95-104
  • Lupien, S.J. (2009) Brains Under Stress. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 54(1), 4-6

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Anxiety of Public Speaking (2011, November 25) Retrieved March 04, 2021, from

MLA Format

"The Anxiety of Public Speaking" 25 November 2011. Web. 04 March. 2021. <>