Fear of Public Speaking

Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on November 17, 2021 and last updated on July 21, 2023

The topic of “Fear of Public Speaking” is beneficial for English learners as it addresses a common hurdle in language development. By exploring this fear, learners can enhance their language skills and gain valuable insights into overcoming anxiety and building self-confidence.

Engaging in discussions about public speaking allows them to expand vocabulary, practice expressing emotions and develop effective communication strategies.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

About Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia, is a common and daunting challenge that affects many individuals. This apprehension arises when one must address an audience, leading to feelings of anxiety, nervousness and self-consciousness. Public speaking is a skill with immense importance in various aspects of life, including academic, professional and social settings.

Understanding the causes and impact of this fear can help individuals overcome it, enabling them to communicate confidently and effectively in public, unlocking opportunities for personal growth and success.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • anxiety (noun)
  • anxious (adjective)
  • can’t stand (somebody/something) (phrase)
  • deliver a speech/talk (phrase)
  • fear (noun)
  • nervous (adjective)

Conversation Questions

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  • Do you get nervous if you have to deliver a speech or talk?
  • Have you ever had to deliver a speech or talk? How did you feel?
  • What situations make you most anxious about public speaking?
  • Why do you think some people get nervous and others don't?
  • How often do you have to give a speech or talk?
  • How do you cope with fear before giving a presentation or speech?
  • Have you ever had a positive experience with public speaking? What made it enjoyable?
  • Do you believe that practice can help reduce fear of public speaking?
  • What advice would you give to someone who is afraid of speaking in front of an audience?
  • How can public speaking skills benefit you in your personal and professional life?
  • Is fear of public speaking a natural response, or can it be learned through negative experiences?
  • Can technology, like virtual presentations, help alleviate fear of public speaking?
  • Is it better to memorise a speech or use cue cards to overcome public speaking anxiety?
  • Is it necessary for leaders to be excellent public speakers to be successful?
  • Should teachers use public speaking as an educational tool to help students become more confident?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.