“Please don’t make me do it!” Learning to manage the fear of public speaking.

September 23, 2016

One common problem that many often complain about is the fear they feel when they have to speak in public. It goes by many names: the jitters, stage fright,communication apprehension, and even sometimes "the butterflies."

Many believe we would be better off if we could be totally free from apprehension during public speaking. However, based on years of study by Professor Gerald Phillips (1977), it was found that apprehension is not necessarily negative. In fact, a little apprehension helps us to do our best job. According to Phillips, nearly all students experience nervous tension during their presentations, but most have learned to manage the apprehension.

Knowing that apprehension is common to most…and listed as the number 1 fear in The Book of Lists (1977)…we will recommend ways to manage speech apprehension for our benefit…not demise!

Contributor: Sheila Cuffy


Gerald M. Phillips, “Rhetoritherapy Versus the Medical Model: Dealing with Reticence,” Communication Education 26 (1977): 37
Wallace, Amy, Irving Wallace, and David Wallechinsky. The Book of Lists. New York: Morrow, 1977. Print.