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Public Speaking Anxiety (PSA) Among Second Year BSED Students of



Speaking is one of the primary skills that mankind developed

even before they were able to read and write. It is the starting

point of the oral communication process where information is

being transferred and shared. Just imagine a world without spoken

words. Peoples ideas and thoughts wont be uttered with the

sound, stress, pitch, and intonation that would give meaning to


As a productive skill, speaking isnt exactly as natural to

people. It takes a persons physical and psychological being to

be able to speak. This is why there are many people who fear

speaking; especially when it is situated in public.

Public speaking anxiety (PSA) represents a cluster of

evaluative feelings about speech making (Daly, Vangelisti, Neel,

& Cavanaugh, 1989), such that anxious speakers simultaneously

experience several negative or distracting feelings associated

with the public speaking context (Witt, Roberts, Behnke, 2006).

According to the University of Wisconsin Counseling Center,

this fear is often accompanied by a variety of physical and


emotional reactions that can significantly interfere with a

person's ability to successfully give a speech or presentation,

including intense feelings of anxiety, worry, nervousness,

trembling or shaking, sweating, and/or dizziness.

Anxiety about public speaking is a common fear among people

from all walks of life (Gibson, Gruner, Hanna, Smythe & Hayes,

1973). From young to adult, experienced or inexperienced, many

are guilty of this. Students belong to this high statistics. From

the simple act of reciting during class discussions to the nerve-

wrecking oral presentations, students experience symptoms of

anxiety before, during, and after a public speaking activity.


The public speaking anxiety among second year BSED students

of SLTCFI is what this study aims to examine. Specifically, it

will attempt to:

1. Identify the level of public speaking anxiety of grade 11

2. Determine the causes of the students public speaking

anxiety; and
3. Propose strategies on how to manage their public speaking



This present investigation has its groundings from James

McCroskeys theory on communication apprehension. Initially

described as "a broadly based anxiety related to oral

communication" (Mccroskey, 1970, p.279), CA has been examined

under a variety of labels including "stage fright" (Clevenger,

1959), "audience sensitivity" (Paivio, 1964), "reticence"

(Phillips,1968), "shyness" (Zimbardo, 1977), "unwillingness to

communicate" (Burgoon, 1976), and even "public speaking anxiety"

(Lomas, 1937). Furthermore, communication apprehension is the

predisposition to avoid communication, if possible, or suffer a

variety of anxiety-type feelings... It is an individuals level

of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated

communication with another person or persons (McCroskey, 1977).

The person experiencing CA feels fearful and uneasy about the

communication situation he is about to participate in. He also

foresees experiencing unpleasant psychological as well as

physical manifestations on the day of the speech. He would, if

possible, withdraw from the situation to escape the offensive

feelings altogether (Del Villar, 2010).

Context-based CA is best described as a fear or anxiety

about communicating in one type of context or situation, while

having little or no fear or anxiety about other contexts or

circumstances. For example, persons may experience relatively


high anxiety or fear about public speaking situations and little

or no apprehension about dyadic or small group environment

(Bednar, 1991). This is the type of CA that this study will

likely to focus on.

Throughout the course of this research, the terms public

speaking and public speaking anxiety will be of use. On that

note, public speaking or oral presentation is viewed as "that

form of communication in which a speaker addresses a relatively

large audience with a relatively continuous discourse, usually in

a face-to-face situation" (DeVito, 1986, p. 244). Such includes

public presentations encountered by students in typical speech

courses. This study will cover students who are taking Oral

Communication core subject under the Senior High School


By definition, public speaking anxiety represents a cluster

of evaluative feelings about speech-making (Daly et al. 1989)

each person brings to a given situation, such as a public speech,

an established set of beliefs and expectations, combined as

cognitions, which shape how that individual behaves in that

specific situation.

A number of studies were conducted on the attributions that

students give to public speaking anxiety. One such study was by

Bippus and Daly (1999) on the attributions about stage fright of


students from a large public university in the US. The study

involved a total of 234 students. Results showed that students

usually gave one of these 9 reasons for public speaking anxiety:

Humiliation, preparation, physical appearance, rigid rules,

personality traits, audience interest, unfamiliar role, mistakes

and negative results. Participants in the study were from

introductory communication courses. At the time of the study,

none of the participants had received any instructions about

stage fright. The study concluded that the reasons given by nave

speakers to public speaking anxiety were by no means unimportant.

The existence of those reasons proved that public speaking

anxiety was a common difficulty (cited by Del Villar, 2010).

Another study by Proctor et al. (1994) in Bippus and Daly

(1999) discovered 4 factors why students experienced public

speaking anxiety. These were: evaluation and criticism, mistakes

and failure, attention and isolation and unfamiliar audiences.

One limitation of this study was that the reasons were given only

by the high apprehensive students. There was therefore no

comparison made with the low apprehensives. Also, the studys

sample size was only 19 (cited by Del Villar, 2010).

A more related study was made by Kosti-Bobanovi et. al

entitled Coping With Public Speaking Anxiety which

investigated whether the teaching of affective strategies helps


students reduce their public speaking anxiety. The results of

the study indicated that the students experienced significantly

less anxiety after they had been taught how to manage their

distress, by means of affective strategies.

The study at hand will extend the abovementioned research by

looking into the factors that caused PSA and the means by which

we can manage the students anxiety.


With the quantitative and qualitative approaches combined,

this study will examine the public speaking anxiety among the

second year BSED students of SLTCFI Senior High School.

This will make use of the descriptive method of research.

Descriptive research gathers quantifiable information that can be

used for statistical inference on a target audience through data

analysis (


The second year BSED students of Southern Luzon

Technological College Foundation, Inc. will be the respondents

for this research. They are chosen for they will be taking Speech

Communication which is a general education subject.


In lieu of the instruments used, the researcher will be

using the questionnaire Personal Report of Public Speaking

Anxiety (PRPSA) developed by James McCroskey (1970). This

instrument is composed of thirty-four statements concerning

feelings associated with giving a presentation. Participants will

indicate their agreement or disagreement with each item using a

5point Likert-type scale (1 = Strongly agree, 2 = Agree, 3 =

Undecided, 4 = Disagree, and 5 = Strongly disagree). In a

previous study relating to PSA (Kosti-Bobanovi, 2004), it is

mentioned to be highly reliable (alpha estimates > .90).

The results of the PRPSA (McCroskey, 1970) will identify the

level of anxiety of students in public speaking. Scores of 3484

indicate low anxiety; 8592 moderately low anxiety; 93110

moderate anxiety; 111119 moderately high anxiety; and 120170

high anxiety. Highly anxious is defined operationally as

someone with a PRPSA score equal to or greater than 120. The

questionnaire is scored by first summing the 22 positive items,

then summing the scores of the reversed items, and finally

subtracting the total from 132. Scores range from 34 to 170, with

a higher score representing more public speaking anxiety.

Furthermore, the study will utilize qualitative data taken

from survey and/or informal interview with students to determine

the causes of their PSA. The same will be conducted with English

teachers for their proposed strategies on how to manage the

students anxiety.


Personal Report of Public Speaking Anxiety (PRPSA)

Directions: Below are 34 statements that people sometimes make

about themselves. Please indicate whether or not you believe each
statement applies to you by marking whether you:
Strongly Disagree = 1; Disagree = 2; Neutral = 3; Agree = 4;
Strongly Agree = 5.

_____1. While preparing for giving a speech, I feel tense and

_____2. I feel tense when I see the words speech and public
speech on a course outline when studying.
_____3. My thoughts become confused and jumbled when I am giving
a speech.
_____4. Right after giving a speech I feel that I have had a
pleasant experience.
_____5. I get anxious when I think about a speech coming up.
_____6. I have no fear of giving a speech.
_____7. Although I am nervous just before starting a speech, I
soon settle down after starting and feel calm and
_____8. I look forward to giving a speech.
_____9. When the instructor announces a speaking assignment in
class, I can feel myself getting tense.
_____10. My hands tremble when I am giving a speech.
_____11. I feel relaxed while giving a speech.
_____12. I enjoy preparing for a speech.
_____13. I am in constant fear of forgetting what I prepared to
_____14. I get anxious if someone asks me something about my
topic that I dont know.
_____15. I face the prospect of giving a speech with confidence.
_____16. I feel that I am in complete possession of myself while
giving a speech.
_____17. My mind is clear when giving a speech.
_____18. I do not dread giving a speech.
_____19. I perspire just before starting a speech.
_____20. My heart beats very fast just as I start a speech.
_____21. I experience considerable anxiety while sitting in the
room just before my speech starts.
_____22. Certain parts of my body feel very tense and rigid while
giving a speech.
_____23. Realizing that only a little time remains in a speech
makes me very tense and anxious.
_____24. While giving a speech, I know I can control my feelings
of tension and stress.
_____25. I breathe faster just before starting a speech.
_____26. I feel comfortable and relaxed in the hour or so just
before giving a speech.
_____27. I do poorer on speeches because I am anxious.
_____28. I feel anxious when the teacher announces the date of a
speaking assignment.
_____29. When I make a mistake while giving a speech, I find it
hard to concentrate on the parts that follow.

_____30. During an important speech I experience a feeling of

helplessness building up inside me.
_____31. I have trouble falling asleep the night before a speech.
_____32.My heart beats very fast while I present a speech.
_____33. I feel anxious while waiting to give my speech.
_____34. While giving a speech, I get so nervous I forget facts I
really know.


McCroskey, J. C. (1970) . Measures of communication-bound

anxiety. Speech Monographs, 37, 269-277.
Retrieved from
May 4, 2016