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48 Fear of Public Speaking Statistics You Should Know in 2020

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Communication and COVID-19

How Communication has Changed

Ever since the arrival of Covid-19, communication in both workspaces and academia alike have shifted from in-person to online. However, public speaking anxiety still remains prevalent, if not only gotten worse. According to Alison Papadakis, director of clinical psychological studies at John Hopkins University, video chat creates friction in social situations. This leads to a heightened fear of public speaking.

Why Video Chat Makes Speaking Scary

Video chat makes it difficult to interpret nonverbal body language like gestures that are important cues in verbal communication. This is so pervasive that experts have coined it as Zoom Performance Anxiety. You might have experienced this in a meeting or class where you are asked to unmute yourself and answer a question. Suddenly, you are aware of all the eyes that are watching you and break out in a nervous sweat. Now, in the age of digital communication, we are forced to adapt to unprecedented changes and challenges that come along with the shift to remote work and learning. 

It’s no secret that public speaking skills are imperative to any good student or worker. Some fear of public speaking statistics shows that it impairs wages and promotion to management by 10% and 15% respectively. Furthermore, only 8% of those who have fear of public speaking seek professional help despite the documented negative impact on their career and wages. 

What is Glossophobia?

Formally, the term meaning the fear of public speaking is called “glossophobia” and is commonly found with people who have social anxiety. Some common symptoms include sweating, accelerated heart rate, trembling, shaking, dizziness, and nausea. In addition, many say that it is similar to “stage fright” or our flight or fight response. According to Colin Clifford, a psychologist at the University of Sydney’s Vision Center, a “direct gaze can signal dominance or a threat”. This is because the human species has evolved to be hyper-sensitive to gaze to survive. 

48 Fear of Public Speaking Statistics

The fear of public speaking is more common than you think it is—you don’t have to feel ashamed. In fact, people of all ages and occupations struggle with public speaking—77% of the US population feels some anxiety with public speaking. Just to show you how widespread public speaking fears are, here are 48 fear of public speaking statistics you should know about!

Colored infographic about 48 fear of public speaking statistics in 2020.
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Improving Your Fear of Public Speaking

Now that you’ve seen the fears of public speaking statistics 2020, here are some resources you can use to improve. Check out this article about alleviating conference call anxiety. Additionally, here are some tips to improve your public speaking skills from Majorie North, a Harvard University Extension School professor. As seen in the infographic, research shows spending on treating anxiety disorders and phobias is $47 billion dollars per year. That’s a lot of money to invest in professional help. Orai is an app that uses AI to help alleviate the cost of fear of public speaking and serves as a personal speech assistant that you can use anytime, anywhere. Download it today: Here’s more information about how it works.

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