Why We Fear Public Speaking More than Death!
Surprisingly, the fear of public speaking ranks in the number one spot of all fears, higher even than death, which takes the second spot on the list of top ten fears. The fear of public speaking can stem from a variety of sources. While it is a common fear, when you are involved in business, the fear of public speak can severely limit your professional opportunities.
The fear of rejection:
In many ways, the fear of public speaking is a form of social anxiety. Much of that stems from a fear of rejection. Even if we do not consciously admit it, most of us are afraid that we will be rejected by others. Public speaking places you in a vulnerable position. If you have little experience with public speaking, you likely will not have much confidence in your abilities. This can subsequently lead to a fear of public speaking.
One of the most important steps you can take in overcoming your fear is to determine precisely what it is that is triggering your stress regarding public speaking. It is important to note that most people actually have several fears associated with public speaking.
Among the most common of those fears is a concern regarding what others will think of you. It is completely natural to have concerns regarding what others will think of you as well as your presentation when all eyes are upon you.
Fear of being judged:
You may also feel some concern that you are being judged. There is no doubt that speaking to a group can feel quite threatening and intimidating. In reality; however, most people are there because they have a genuine interest in what you have to say and even wish to learn from you.
In some cases, you may have concerns about whether you are smart enough to prepare and give a successful presentation. Many people continue to raise the bar higher and higher, wondering whether they have a sufficient amount of charisma and experience until they second-guess themselves into scenario where they can only envision failure.
It is also not uncommon for many people to experience a lack of confidence in their abilities to command a room when speaking in public. The simple fact of the matter is that you likely have a tremendous amount of knowledge, insight, and value to bring to any presentation.
The fear of failing:
Finally, there is a fear of failing. While it is completely natural to be nervous that you will forget what you are going to say, the reality is that most people do not expect you to be perfect. Additionally, unless you draw attention to the fact, most of the audience likely won't even notice if you make a slight error.
The fear of speaking in public is certainly not uncommon and the triggers associated with that fear are certainly reasonable. Even so, taking some time to step back from the situation and recognize that you have a vast amount of valuable knowledge to offer and that your audience appreciates the fact that you are only human can provide you with the confidence you need to step out in front of any group.