Public Speaking Anxiety And Its Effect On Students

This essay has a total of 1439 words and 7 pages.

Public Speaking Anxiety And Its Effect On Students

Public Speaking Anxiety and Its Effect on Students


Public speaking anxiety is a problem for many people. Some say that it is the number one
fear of Americans over death. There have been many studies done in the general field of
public speaking anxiety. I am going to review five articles that touch on various issues
surrounding public speaking anxiety. All five of these articles are from Communication
journals and are at most five years old.

Literature Review

There have been many studies done on public speaking anxiety in the field of
communications. I have chosen these five articles to review because I believe that put
together, they give a good background on the recent research done on this subject. The
first article looks at student's memories of speeches they have given. The second article
looks at how public speaking anxiety affects speech preparation. The third article looks
at how speech anxiety changes due to audience pleasantness and familiarity. The fourth
article looks at when anxiety actually starts for students given a speech assignment. The
fifth article summarizes a study where people with no formal background in communication
are asked to explain why people experience public speaking anxiety.

The first article is entitled "Communication apprehension and implicit memories of public
speaking state anxiety." Sawyer and Behnke discussed two studies in this article. The
first is labeled "Short term memory", and the second is labeled "Long term memory". In
study one, their subjects were 44 undergraduate students (22 males, 22 females) that were
taking a required basic speech communication class. Each student gave a short two-minute
speech to a classroom of 20-25 students. The speeches were videotaped and later played
back and reviewed by the instructor. Directly after giving their speeches, the students
were asked to fill out Spielberger's (Speilberger, Gorsuch, & Lushene, 1969) STAI
(A-State) scale, which asks the student how he/she felt while giving the presentation.
They also filled this out several weeks before the speech, on how they felt about public
speaking in general. Then they were asked to fill out the scale after class. The results
showed that recollections of state speaking anxiety decrease over time.

The second study participants were 40 undergraduate students (20 male, 20 female) enrolled
in a basic speech communication course. At the beginning of the semester each student
filled out McCroskey's PRCA (1978). Each student gave a 5-minute speech in front of 25
other students and immediately after filled out Spielberger's scale. They were asked one
week later to fill out the scale again. They again found that the student's recollection
of anxiety had decreased over time. The level of decrease was contingent on the student's
level of communication apprehension.

The second article is called "Speech anxiety affects how people prepare speeches: A
protocol analysis of the preparation processes of speakers." This article was written by
J. Daly, A. Vangelisti, and D. Weber. They begin by telling the reader what a serious
problem public speaking anxiety is. This alone gives me the feeling that they are doing
this study because they really want to help people who are suffering from this anxiety.

They took fifty-one undergraduate students who were enrolled in a large introductory
lecture class on communication. They completed a measure of public speaking anxiety five
weeks before the project. They randomly selected student from the class and came up with a
group that represented the norm in terms of age, race, and gender. Each student was asked
to prepare a speech in front of observers and speak out loud what he/she was thinking. The
student then went and performed the speech in front of the class who were unaware of the
study. The class then rated the student. The student was asked to answer some questions
about their feelings. They found that their was "a significant and inverse relationship
between public speaking anxiety and the average performance rating. Speech anxiety was
unrelated to goal setting, presentation concern, organization, and revising/editing. It
was related to other things such as audience concerns and text generation.

The third article is titled "The effects of audience pleasantness, audience familiarity,
and speaking contexts on public speaking anxiety and willingness to speak." This article
Continues for 4 more pages >>