What Does It Take To Be a Good Public Speaker

Glossophobia haunts many of us

Michele Maize
4 min readMay 20, 2022


confident speaker at a rally
Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

I had the great pleasure of attending my high school seniors' MUN banquet last night. MUN stands for Model United Nations.

MUN is an academic simulation of the United Nations where students debate and discuss issues pertaining to different countries.

My daughter participated in this program for all of her four years in high school.

Going in as a freshman she was timid and hated public speaking but after four years of speaking and debating during conferences, she emerged from her shell.

Watching her give her final speech last night filled me with so much pride.

All of the high school seniors had to get up and give a small speech reflecting on their time in the program. They all praised the teachers, the program, and their peers.

It was an incredible event to witness.

The poise and confidence that oozed from these kids were so impressive. Many of them were going on to prestigious colleges and will do great things in their lives.

My husband and I both commented to each other that we would have greatly benefitted from this program but our high schools didn’t offer it.

I hated speaking in front of people and I still do. It’s probably my worst fear. I break out in a rash, my heartbeat is off the charts, and sweat will start rolling down my back if I know I must speak in front of a group.

I can’t recall many times in high school that I had to get up in front of the classroom which is probably why my first speech class in college was so difficult for me.

I even thought I wanted to be a broadcast journalist but quickly changed my major after a semester of self-induced panic attacks during that speech class.

The fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia, plagues up to 75% of our population so after reading that, I didn’t feel as bad about myself.

When you can’t get through a speech without shaking and blanking out, it makes your self-esteem plummet.



Michele Maize

Sober | Wannabe Vegan | Yoga Addict. Extrovert turned introvert that just wants a pack of dachshunds. Writing my way through past trauma gave me big dreams.