I am interviewed every other week on Radio Live, with Wallace Chapman. Late last year I spoke with Wallace about the fear of public speaking, and how most people would rather be dead than give a speech! That’s what most surveys say, time and time again when asked about their fears, people rank public speaking as number one, and death usually comes in around four or five.
What are the top five responses from people when asked about their biggest fears? In most cases, it is as follows:
1. Giving a speech in public – this is about 45-55% of all responses!
2. Afraid of Heights
3. Financial Problems
4. Deep Water
Most people really do feel that frightened about speaking in front of people. But why is this?
Fundamentally, humans are ‘herd animals’, and we are very reliant on our social connections with others. We place so much value on the opinions of others, that we will do anything we can to avoid the shame of making a mistake and being ‘shunned’ by the pack. We simply do not want to look like an idiot or make a fool of ourselves in front of our peers. Some people also often end up being afraid of feeling anxiety, or that others notice that they are feeling anxious. It’s actually being judged negatively by the group that feels like a fate worse than death.
In another recent post I provided some tips on public speaking, which may be of use to you if you are currently fearful of speaking in public.
So what’s your worst fear? I’d love to hear from you about it.
All the best, Kyle