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To: Professor Donnetta Suchon
From: Kassandra Elias
Date: June 9, 2021
Subject: Proposal to write a report on the fear of public speaking
To help others overcome the fear of public speaking, I propose to research and write a report on its underlying causes, as well as solutions or methods for managing and overcoming speaking anxiety.
Background of the Problem
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Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, affects more people than some may realize; public speaking anxiety levels range from moderate to high in around 70% of the general public. Other studies show that this fear surpasses the fear of heights, drowning, and even death. (Arnold 10) This fear continues to persist years after these studies. In fact, public speaking anxiety has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic ensued. The subsequent shift in communication from in-person to online has, according to Alison Papadakis, director of clinical psychological studies, created “…friction in social situations.” Nonverbal body language plays an important role in communication, but, virtually, this aspect is lacking or becomes more difficult to interpret. Moreover, in a video chat, there is more awareness of being watched, which develops a greater fear of public speaking. (Schmidt 3-4) This fear not only affects a significant number of people, but it also affects their performance in multiple areas and situations of their life. Communication is extremely important in creating connections or relationships. It is something employers expect workers to be skilled in, and it occurs frequently in school. However, it is reported that social phobia, of which glossophobia is a large subset, has a 10% impairment on wages, a 10% impairment on college graduation, and a 15% impairment on management promotions (Khoury 8).
Questions to Be Investigated
What causes public speaking fear?
How effective is exposure therapy?
Are there any drawbacks to exposure therapy?
What are other solutions other than therapy?
Methods of Research
Arnold, James K. “Stress to Success: Public Speaking Anxiety and Its Relationship to Perceived Leadership” Semantic Scholar. Education Doctoral Dissertations in Leadership, 2018. Web. 11 June 2021.
Contreras, Daniel. E-mail interview. 14 June 2021.
Elias, Kassandra. “Fear of Public Speaking.” Survey. 14 June 2021.
Ellwood, Beth. “Patients with Public Speaking Anxiety Show Improvement after VR Exposure Therapy, Study Finds.” PsyPost. 08 Dec. 2020. Web. 11 June 2021.
Khoury, Peter. “7 Unbelievable “Fear of Public Speaking” Statistics.” Magnetic Speaking. Magnetic Speaking, 02 Apr. 2020. Web. 11 June 2021.
Schmidt, Megan. “A Psychologist Explains How to Cope With Video Chat When You’re Socially Anxious.” Discover Magazine. Discover Magazine, 03 Nov. 2020. Web. 11 June 2021.
Throughline. “Fear of Public Speaking: Everything to Know.” Throughline Group. 26 Mar. 2021. Web. 11 June 2021.
Tsaousides, Theo. “Why Are We Scared of Public Speaking?” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 27 Nov. 2017. Web. 11 June 2021.
· Complete research by June 21
· Complete interview by June 21
· Start survey on June 17 and complete it by June 21
· Complete progress letter by June 21
· Start on major report June 27 and complete it by June 30
· Complete peer reviews and abstract by July 2
· Complete powerpoint slides by July 6
Request for Approval
Professor Suchon, I am sending this request for your approval of my plan for this report. I am open to any suggestions you may have that could better my plan and overall results.
Interview Questions
1. What is your experience with public speaking? Was there a time where this fear prevented you from achieving something?
2. Why do you think so many people have a fear of public speaking?
3. Do you think presentations should be required in school? Why or why not?
4. How do you think someone can overcome this fear?
See pages 263-267 in Chapter 8 of the textbook for samples.

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