Friday, October 30, 2009

Glossophobia? I have Anaglossophobiaphobia

If glossophobia is the fear of public speaking I have a fear of the opposite -- the lack of a fear of public speaking. Among the worst speakers I've ever heard have been people -- usually businessmen (emphasis added) -- who work hard to develop an image of total control, total confidence, total calmness.

They usually leave their audience totally comatose.

The subject came up today on WCPN's Sound of Ideas radio program as Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett celebrated Halloween by exploring the things that scare people the most. Naturally the guest psychologist trots out the old canards: take a deep breath, imagine your audience in their underwear, "put yourself in the present."

I've come to be glad when I'm nervous. It gives me energy, which helps me animate my presentation. But, I've said all of this before.


John Ettorre said...

Very interesting insight, with which I'd utterly agree, Mike. But then I agree with most of what you have to say. But this is doubly interesting in light of my having attended a Toastmasters meeting yesterday out of curiosity. Your observation really rings true in that context, because that group was trying to turn everything into a science, whereas you're that good public speaking is at least as much an art.

Mike Q said...

People who have a gift for public speaking seem to make it an art. I think anyone can do a decent job, but not by making it a science, that's for sure. That sounds complicated. Simpler is better.

John Ettorre said...

Simpler always wins. And I sure hope I'll be seeing you tonight at the JCU staff reunion.