It is widely known that presenting and public speaking is the number one fear, with 75% of the population dreading it more than death. What is it about speaking in front of a group of people that brings this on? In my years of coaching I know it’s never about what it’s about. I know it’s not about the fear; it’s about the shame, embarrassment or humiliation associated with presenting and speaking in any public forum.
In my recent experiences, and conversations, I have discovered that most people can trace their ‘fear’ back to an incident that happened in their early childhood. They were embarrassed or humiliated at school, or at home. That led to a fear of feeling the same way again, which later shifted the focus on the fear and not the underlying root cause. I often say fear is the rock star, it’s what we all focus on, however, if we focus on what lies beneath the fear, we have the potential to move beyond it.
Anxiety, presenting as sweaty palms or forehead, constriction in the chest, heat moving through your body, and paralysis presenting as your mind going blank, dry mouth, lump in your throat and or the inability to move, are all part of the sensations you may feel, even if you are only considering having to speak publicly.