The American Psychiatric Association has published quite an interesting scale on fear of public speaking. It provides good support for getting to the bottom of the real causes of unproductive stage fright. This is the only way to reduce stage fright to a healthy level. Because there are good exercises for every single one of the 17 points.

The 17 points to analyze your own lamp fever

(rate yourself – use a scale from 1 (hardly) to 5 (yes, absolutely) )

1. giving a speech is terrifying

2. I am afraid that I will be at a loss for words while speaking

3. I am nervous that I will embarrass myself in front of the audience

4. if I make a mistake in my speech, I am unable to re-focus

5. I am worried that my audience will think I am a bad speaker

6. I am focused on what I am saying during my speech

7. i am confident when i give a speech

8. i feel satisfied after giving a speech

9. i do not have problems making eye contact with my audience

10. my hands shake when i give a speech

11. i feel sick before speaking in front of a group

12. i feel tense before giving a speech

13. i fidget before speaking

14. my heart pounds when i give a speech

15. i sweat during my speech

16. my voice trembles when i give a speech

17. i feel relaxed while giving a speech

///Before you go on, reverse your scores for items 6,7,8,9, and 17. If your total is 52, (a little less than 3 per item), you’re average. Scores above 65 will put you in the upper range of the scale, based on the numerical distribution of the sample’s scores, and if you score under 40, you can talk to anybody about anything in a public situation. As we know, though, even people who might on average have relatively low PSA, there may also be situations or aspects of their anxiety that can create problems. ///



American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Bartholomay, E. M., & Houlihan, D. D. (2016). Public Speaking Anxiety Scale: Preliminary psychometric data and scale validation. Personality and Individual Differences, 94211-215. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2016.01.026