The Fear of Public Speaking

They say that the number one fear we have as human beings is the fear of public speaking and that the number two fear is the fear of death. Now, isn’t that interesting? In other words, people would sooner die than speak publicly. This astounds me, but when I think about it, I can totally understand it. When I started out as a public speaker, I too was terrified. It took every ounce of courage I could muster up for me to step in front of a group and speak about a subject that I was passionate about. And there were times in the beginning that I felt like I was going to die before stepping in front of a group. 

Fortunately, not all of us have to speak in front of groups. Often time, we think that opportunity is reserved for seminar leaders, lawyers, actors, politicians, or teachers.  And  to a large degree, this is true. However, when I look at my life before I was a public speaker, there were numerous opportunities that I had to speak in front of people!  And when I examine those times of my life, the fear was still there!

I’m sure you can relate to times that you had to give a presentation at work, maybe you had to speak to your employees, and times you had to make phone calls to strangers, or ask someone out on a date.  Maybe you had to speak at a school function for your children, or you wanted to make new friends and invite some people over for dinner.  Many people, like me, feel anxious when we are put in these situations.  And physically we feel the anxiety.  We get sweaty, our stomach turns to butterflies, we get tired, or sick.  All of these symptoms are just our body’s way of telling us we are venturing into unknown territory.  We don’t know what may happen, so we get anxious.

Well I am not here to give you the magic tools to make the fear go away.  But in the following article series I am here to show you that there are some strategies, that when applied, can lessen the emotional, mental and physical impact that the fear has on you.  These steps can help lessen the stress created when having to speak to people and can help you become a confident speaker, whether you want to become the next Tony Robbins or you just want to be able to talk to people with confidence and ease.

Stay tuned in the next post where I will cover the 10 tips to ease the stress of speaking to people.