Why do people fear public speaking more than death and what can we do about it?

Posted on November 5, 2013 by admin

Amazingly of the top 10 fears we often feel, most people will rate speaking in public as more fearful than death! Communicating even simple ideas in front of an audience can have even experienced speakers, actors, politicians and businesspeople looking to the wings for help. Indeed, public speaking is cited as being one of the hardest tasks a person has to go through in their lifetime.

Why do people fear public speaking more than death and what can we do about it?

Research shows that up to 75% of people experience some kind of speech anxiety. Why do we fear speaking in front of others so much? Primarily our fear of public speaking is totally instinctual resulting from the earliest beginnings of human society where anyone who stood out from the crowd was risking certain death.

So quite literally speaking out in front of others could and often did lead to death. Often people have experienced a frightening experience in their own childhood that has left them feeling embarrassed and even humiliated and put them off speaking in public for life! This fear has become deeply embedded in the human psyche. So, remember, you are not alone! – Nearly everyone is frightened of speaking in public – it would almost be unnatural if you weren’t!

However sometimes this fear becomes so overwhelming that we cannot deliver our talk effectively and even prevents us from trying. This is a significant problem in developing our lives as speaking in public is so often required in all manner of professions in order to advance our careers.

The good news is there are plenty of strategies that can help manage this fear. These include thorough preparation, learning correct breathing techniques, having confidence in one’s delivery through receiving training in public speaking, learning how to engage and build rapport with an audience and learning how to create a great presentation that you know communicates your message effectively. Oh, and realizing that the audience is on your side! All these skills can help you manage this fear effectively.

Overcoming this anxiety can lead to greater self-confidence and open up opportunities in careers and life as a whole.

Vocal Integrity has been helping businesses, private individuals and children to open up their communication potential for 45 years. In that time we have created a unique set of courses, designed specifically to help with every day personal or business circumstances and we have had some fantastic results. Becoming proficient in these skills is a massive self-confidence booster that will have a very positive effect on all aspects of your life.

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