Look at any list of fears, and one of, if not the top listed is (cue spooky music):

Public speaking

But, is it our biggest fear?

Since an early age, you’ve been standing in front of other people and talking.

Public speaking isn’t the horrible, fear-inducing monster people make it out to be.

Let’s peel back the layers and identify two deep-seated fears that make speaking in front of others feel scary as hell:

Real Fear #1: Public Embarrassment Or Humiliation
Tales Of An Evolutionary Survival Mechanism

Fear of embarrassment (or humiliation) has roots dating back to our ancestors. In early human societies, being part of a group was essential for survival.

Being rejected from your tribe could spell disaster. It usually meant facing the harsh wilderness alone. This almost always led to death. (Which meant you wouldn’t create generations of offspring to become public speakers.)

The Modern Twist

Modern social dynamics have evolved. Intellectually, we know minor slip-ups during a presentation won’t lead to ostracism. They will not endanger our lives.

But, our brains haven’t caught up with this rational understanding. The fear of rejection is ingrained in our DNA. It lingers and is triggered by the prospect of public speaking.

Public speaking isn’t the fearit’s the trigger for a more powerful fear.

Real Fear #2: Strangers
The Story Of A Primal Instinct

Another aspect of public speaking is the fear of strangers. When our ancestors encountered another tribe, it could have been a life-or-death situation. They could be there to take their food, hunting grounds, or fancy, fully-furnished cave.

Caution was a necessity. It was a survival instinct to protect the tribe from potential threats.

Modern World, Same Instinct

In today’s world, most strangers we meet aren’t out to harm us. They’re too busy being afraid that we’re there to harm them.

We intellectually understand this, but emotional responses to strangers can still be intense. This deeply rooted, ancient instinct makes us uneasy in unfamiliar social settings.

Public speaking isn’t the fearit’s a magnifying glass that intensifies our feelings about strangers.

Unmasking Public Speaking: A Combination of Ancient Fears

Contrary to popular belief, public speaking is not our biggest fear. It’s a unique blend of two primal feelingsthe fear of embarrassment and of strangers.

Public speaking is the potential to embarrass yourself in front of a group of strangers.

Embracing the Challenge

For 25 years, I fell prey to this fear. It held back my career, my confidence, and my self-worth. Then, I found the National Speakers Association and Toastmasters. There, I discovered a new reality…

Every time I spoke, I didn’t die!

I wasn’t chased out of the room by pitchfork-wielding strangers, nor left in isolation. (In spite of the many mistakes I made.)

Those were liberating experiences.

So was the realization that my fears were natural, and that I would never get rid of them. I had to learn how to manage them, which I did.

I’m now a professional speaker, presentation skills trainer, and coach. I’ve seen people transform fear into confidence by acknowledging and managing these emotions.

The next time you find yourself trembling before a speaking engagement, remember this:

You’re not facing a room full of hungry sabertooth tigers. You’re not up against a tribe trying to take your food, family, and possessions.

You’re feeling the remnants of ancient survival mechanisms. Those that are triggering once-vital but now unnecessary emotions.

Understand and address these primal fears. Do this, and you’ll unlock your potential as a confident and influential communicator.

Do You Want To Become More Impactful, Influential, And Charismatic When You Speak?

If you’d like to talk to Michael about how he could help you with your organization with your communication skills, check out his resources or contact him at his virtual business card: https://inphone.co/speakingcpr

Two Secrets About Why You’re NOT Afraid Of Public Speaking ultima modifica: 2023-09-13T10:25:48-04:00 da Michael Davis