Glossophobia, Smossophobia- Fire Lane on Public Speaking

“BravoZ” asked: “What do I do if I have to give an oral presentation for class, but I have glossophobia (fear of public speaking)?”

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As a talking Squirrel who has been watching people for years, I find it incredibly unlikely that you are actually afraid of public speaking, given that when you’re on campus, you are constantly in public, and speaking simultaneously.

Look at Moses! He didn’t want to go to Egypt, and lead his people, he said he stuttered when he talked publicly. And then look at Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:3, “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.”

I think you are more afraid of rejection, or messing up. Here’s the glory public speaking No one is going to know if you mess up.

What do I mean? Watch someone mess up, Do you care? Maybe you laugh for a second. Do you even remember that they messed up? Probably not, you Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve all seem to be so forgiving to each other.

Think a little more with me- What did the last person you hear in class talk about? Don’t remember? Neither does anyone else, probably.

Funny that you bring this up actually, I recently ran for a squirrel government position. Head of the nut house I believe. In the middle of my speech, in front of 530 of the best and brightest bushy-tailed squirrels you’ll ever see, I completely forgot the title of the position for which I was running. After an awkward sensation that came off as a natural pause, I tapdanced around the word I forgot, knowing that next week, after all is said and done no one is going to remember the speech anyway.

If you don’t know what to say (or say, you forgot), rather than say like, umm uhh like you know, just close your mouth and look around the room. It’ll sound a lot more like you know what you’re doing.

If you’ve written your speech you need to practice. Not just like how you practice your Bible verses. If you really want a speech to go well, have a friend stand behind you with a pencil/pen/stick/ruler as you talk to a wall, or empty room. Tell your friend that every time you say “Like, um, you know” or whatever nervous filler word you use, they are to tap you on the head. Eventually “like” will be replaced by a pause as you think about words.

Even when you think you’re afraid to talk, remember There’s just no stoppin’ Fire Lane.