Overcoming Glossophobia By Achieving Personal Significance.

Reference blog post “Stage Fright? Fear Of Public Speaking? Not If You Achieve Personal Significance!” published 26 Apr 2013.

Public SpeakingThe fear of public speaking is known as glossophobia. It is a malady that afflicts many people. Even seasoned speakers and trainers are not immune to it. This is something of a mystery to me. Jerry Seinfeld says that:

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

I think that glossophobia is not normal. How could a healthy, vibrant, enthusiastic human being quail inwardly at the thought of speaking good into the lives of others? How could someone be fearful of rejection or ridicule if he knows that what he has to say is true, right and just? How could someone be anxious at the thought of delivering a presentation if he had already prepared his presentation aids and had continuously sought to be as good in his field as he could? How could one be fearful of discussing a subject totally new to him if he were firmly based on good, universal principles and had been honing his skills to draw information from his audience? How could one fear a hostile response when one has the best interests of his audience at heart?

I can only conclude that the negative side of all those questions in the previous paragraph are manifested to some degree in most people. That is the only reason why glossophobia is so rampant. Knowing this, I propose that we need to inspire people to Achieve Personal Significance, so that the symptom of glossophobia is greatly diminished. We need to inspire people to reach upwards towards knowing that they exist for a higher purpose, where expressing that higher purpose brings no shame but is rather an expression of noble virtue.

How do you Achieve Personal Significance? I would like to propose that we use the first letters of the phrase “Achieve Personal Significance” and deliberately practise and keep in view three things: Availability, Profitability and a noble definition of Success.


Being available for others does not mean laying your life in the dust or being a doormat, although that is how it might feel at times. It means living at a level of consciousness that seeks to do good to all who cross your path. It means taking the effort and investing the resources to do the right thing by others. That right thing, by the way, could be firing someone! Being available means being available to give praise where praise is due. Being available means mentoring someone who might one day become your Boss. Being available means grabbing someone by the hair and kicking him until he comes to his senses and starts being productive. Being available means going to your Boss and telling him, respectfully, that his plan might work if

Yes, being available means all of those things and more. Are you available?


More than just in the financial sense. Expand your field of view and consider this. Profitability also includes being a good customer and/ or a good client. It means paying for value and paying on time. It means discussing how you can make your supplier more successful. Do you want to have great, reliable suppliers who will unhesitatingly go the extra mile for you if the situation warrants it? Do you want your suppliers to trust you so much that they would even recommend other sources for what they think best meets your needs, if they do not happen to have those things that you need? Too many businesses are bad paymasters. The end result is that suppliers try to squeeze some reasonable degree of profitability out of their customers (meaning you) by cutting corners in some hopefully unnoticeable manner.

Profitability is really just an indicator of how much value your business is delivering all around. That means including how you treat your suppliers, not just your own customers! Think one step further. Profitability also means making sure that your customers become successful. Do you know your customers’ customers? How else can you customize what you provide to your customers so that they become more successful? When we look at these factors, profitability is already in the works!


To quote Ron Jenson, “What is your definition of success?” Does having the 5Cs of Cash, Condominium, Car, Country Club and Children mean that you have succeeded in life? No? Then why are you working two jobs? Think back to all those times when you had this magnificent feeling of being absolutely satisfied, absolutely content, knowing that you had done something utterly worthwhile. Do you remember what it was? That is your definition of success. If you can’t recall any, then think about how that could happen for you. Imagine yourself in that satisfied, content, totally filled state. What led to that state of being? Ten to one you’ll find your definition of success in there!

I sometimes conduct an exercise where I get participants at workshops to write down and then share their dreams. They are always admonished to go deep, to ask the “Why?” questions until “Why?” cannot be answered any more. A dream cannot really be expressed as wanting to be financially independent so that you can be free to travel around the world. Why would you want to do that? Neither ought a dream to be having enough resources so that you can provide free education for underprivileged children in poorer countries. Why do you want to do that? When those questions are answered, pretty potent dreams do surface. At heart, most people simply want to be the best they can be, for themselves and for others. It’s just expressed differently for different people.


We have seen how Achieving Personal Significance can be attained via being Available, being Profitable and having a sense of authentic Success. When that becomes a reality, glossophobia will fade from memory, and you’ll relish the thought of spreading the value you finally know you have to those around you. And you won’t be glossing over anything, either. There won’t be a need to.


Download the pdf here.

Skip to toolbar