For those who are or love/support students. Social Anxiety Disorder is Glossophobia’s big brother: fear of speaking in public.
The research in this article focussed on Australian university students and the requirements for university education.
The students who suffered from public speaking anxiety were at a distinct advantage and there is no current assistance or support in addressing this skill gap for university students.
A very valid point is made that since the evaluation and therefore marking system is based on the ability of students to complete oral assessments, it is unreasonable for students to achieve well when they are untrained in speaking in public.
This skill is an integral component and as stated the fear of negative evaluation is a common barrier for students to perform well.
“Poor oral communication skills have a direct relation to lower educational outcomes, lower grades and lower levels of employability (Goberman et al., 2011)”.
As indirectly mentioned in the quote by Goberman above, I will take a bold step of relating the findings to many business environments.
PUBLIC SPEAKING ANXIETY IS FOUND MUCH WIDER THAN ACADEMIC SETTINGS
Statistical data from Australia about this is scant at present and there is a wide variance in reports from the US.
What is common and what is known to us all is, there are people all around us who experience evident distress when faced with the prospect of speaking in public.
The anxiety was commonly defined: fear of negative evaluation.
This and the subsequent discussion in the article gave me specific insight as to the power this anxiety holds for people.
The element of evaluation of the speaker for any event of speaking is inevitable.
The strength of that fear of a negative response from the audience might be reduced by certain training, preparation and learned techniques. (Ahem…….. that is what I do!)
But for those who deliver presentations without assistance/training in those areas are facing significant distress before and during the event and sadly reinforced every time the requirement for oral assessments are required.
As recommended by the authors:
“…. the experience of social anxiety and public speaking anxiety, the implications for oral communication assessments and the development of relevant skills training is worthy of future investigation in Australian universities.”
I step forward boldly to say, the development of relevant speaking and presentation skills training is essential for:
not only in Australia but around the world.