Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Thomas Fish, Teresa Rothausen, Karen Westberg


Public speaking anxiety (PSA), a form of social phobia, is a common and debilitating issue for many professionals, affecting approximately 70% of the population to varying degrees. With communication skills like public speaking becoming more and more demanded in the workplace, those with high PSA may find that career choices and advancement become limited, creating barriers to career success. Leadership acumen is a highly-prized asset in organizations, and employers seek applicants whom they perceive to have strong leadership potential. This study brings together the phenomena of public speaking anxiety and perceived leadership potential, exploring relationships between them with a goal of contributing to leadership development in post-secondary business education. A group of 151 MBA students participated in the study. Their public speaking anxiety as both an enduring trait and a state-dependent condition across five business presentations was measured, along with sex, age, and perceived leadership. Results suggest that relationships between public speaking anxiety and perceived leadership do exist, and at significant levels. Sex showed some relationship to speaking anxiety but not perceived leadership, and age did not relate to either. Current issues in leadership development are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research and implications for business education.


public speaking, anxiety, business education

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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