Stagefright and Extreme Fear of Public Speaking: Why Many Professionals Dread Holiday Parties

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More Americans fear public speaking than death. As thousands of companies and associations host holiday parties over the next two weeks, there may be thousands of mid-career professionals who dread giving the "toast" at a holiday or New Years party-- because of extreme fear of public speaking. But with effective support and help, professionals can overcome their professional stagefright. Stagefright Survival School experts (http://www.stagefrightsurvivivalschool.com) offers some tips.

On a personal level, there's something very gratifying when you put energy into helping people overcome something that has had such a big blocking effect on their lives--and so many get appreciably and rapidly better.

Thousands of companies and associations will host holiday parties over the next two weeks. But for many professionals, the thought of giving remarks--or especially leading a toast at these festive bashes causes extreme anxiety. It's a fact: more Americans fear public speaking worse than death.

What are the signs and symptoms of this extreme fear? And, how can professionals overcome this debilitating anxiety and start the New Year with a commitment to advancing their careers?

Dr. David Charney, a renowned psychiatrist and co-founder of Stagefright Survival School (http://www.stagefrightsurvivalschool.com), an Alexandria, Virginia-based School designed to help mid-career professionals overcome extreme fear of public speaking--says that professional stagefright is curable--but only with the right approach.

After more than 25 years of effectively helping hundreds of mid-career professionals overcome public speaking anxiety, Stagefright Survival School is planning its official relaunch for January 2007. The School offers ten unique components to ensure the success of School participants:

1. Specialized small classes (8 participants maximum per group)

2. Skilled and experienced instructors

3. Gradual desensitization that exposes participants to elementary public speaking experiences at a reasonable pace.

4. Classmates who really understand the problem and can share in the process of getting over it

5. Warm, supportive learning environments

6. Optional medication assistance to get over the first hurdles. This medication that acts like "training wheels" to cushion very high anxiety levels

7. Ten classes stretched over ten weeks, allowing participants to digest their lessons and build confidence on a solid foundation

8. Plenty of methods, guidelines, tips, and practical advice for eliminating extreme fear

9. Videotaped feedback--when participants are comfortable with this component

10. Personalized public speaking crisis management and support

"My first specialty in psychiatry was treating people with anxiety disorders. Over time, we expanded our work to include many sub-types of anxiety. When we took on helping people with extreme fear of public speaking, we discovered something that stood out: our success rate was higher with extreme fear of public speaking than with any of the other anxiety categories we treated," Dr. Charney says. "On a personal level, there's something very gratifying when you put energy into helping people overcome something that has had such a big blocking effect on their lives--and so many get appreciably and rapidly better."

Attorney Burton Rubin, the School's other co-founder, is himself a stagefright survivor.

"Most people are more afraid of public speaking than anything else. I suffered from extreme fear of stagefright for most of my life. I specifically remember standing before an audience to give an important speech. I began my speech, but got out no more than a few words. I was frozen with fear. I felt utterly disgraced. Now, I'm working to help people who experience the same fears I did."

To learn more, visit http://www.stagefrightsurvivalschool.com or call 1-877-657-8243.

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Andrew Campanella
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