Menu

What Is The Fear Of Public Speaking Called? Stage Freight or Glossophobia

Some call it anxiety others refer it as nervousness or stress, the fear of public speaking is felt and expressed differently by different people. Some academics have wrapped up all these issues of public speaking and called it stage fright.

Is it all different or the symptoms and their intensities differing from person to person but the condition is same.

Perhaps it is one condition that everyone defines differently. Then the question is - what is it called in psychology.

Well it is called Glossophobia.

Like many other philosophical psychological terms Glossophobia also originates from the Greek language. It combines two Greek words meaning tongue and fear or dread. the closest English phrase would be Tongue Tied !  But for the simplicity sake we can refer it as the fear of public speaking.


So now the definition being in place, let us understand its symptoms.

People may encounter any one or many of the symptoms of fear of public speaking (Glossophobia)

  • intense anxiety prior to, or simply at the thought of having to verbally communicate with any group,
  • avoidance of events which focus the group's attention on individuals in attendance,
  • physical distress, nausea, or feelings of panic in such circumstances.


According to academic researchers more than 95% people experience some degree of anxiety/nervousness when public speaking (Hamilton, C. (2008/2005). Communicating for Results, a Guide for Business and the Professions (eighth edition). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth).

Now that you know what the fear of public speaking is called and what are its symptoms. What next!

Knowing what a problem is called may satisfy you at intellectual levels but it certainly doesn't solve it. You must find your own ways or take help in overcoming the fear of public speaking to enable you to advance rapidly in whatever profession you are pursuing.