Millions Experience Public Speaking Anxiety In the Form of Erythrophobia, Hyper-hidrosis and Voice Paralysis
Jonathan Berent, L.C.S.W., pioneering therapist and author, offers a new and continually growing library of unique and essential patient interviews on the common yet rarely-addressed issue of C-suite executives and entrepreneurs missing out on income and career progress by passing up leadership and public speaking opportunities for fear of being noticeably nervous.
Berent has compiled a unique library of clinical interviews offering first-hand treatment accounts from successful patients: click here. His aim in offering this information is to make otherwise successful executives aware that this problem is more common than they might believe and that others have overcome it and gone on to further enhance their careers.
Fear of public speaking is not simply an inconvenience; it’s an income inhibitor, career killer, and “an insidious anxiety disorder that most mental health and medical professionals do not understand,” according to Berent, who has pioneered treatment for performance and social anxiety since 1978. He is the author of “Beyond Shyness” (Simon & Schuster) and “Work Makes Me Nervous” (Wiley).
Berent adds, “The pain involved in this condition might seem unthinkable to those who have not experienced it. One past patient was a successful CFO who said she’d rather get into a car accident on the way to a conference than show up and face the crowd for her presentation…another was a real estate executive who easily closed $3 billion deals but fell into a state of terror when faced with talking about it to a group of students on career day.”
Panic at the podium—and embarrassment over the obvious symptoms—is debilitating for many executives and entrepreneurs and can include erythrophobia (fear of blushing), hyper-hidrosis (excessive sweating) and voice paralysis.
More than a quarter of the population reports a fear of public speaking, according to a recent Chapman University Survey. While many programs exist to address the problem on the surface through coaching, skill building and practice, almost none focus on the underlying causes.
Berent explains, “Many of my successful patients have told me, ‘Treatment is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.’ They are not just learning superficial behavioral tricks to ‘get by.’ They’re completing a process of introspection and taking control which fuses therapeutic technique – learning how to surf a wave of adrenaline rather than drown in it – with a deep exploration of their conscious and unconscious past, how this fosters insecurity and performance anxiety, and why it causes them pain today.”