Eat glass, pay taxes, be locked in a box with snakes, or die… these are a few things most people would choose to do rather than speaking in public. Yet, only the most reclusive of us gets through life without ever giving a toast, running a meeting or making a presentation. So, why the irrational fear of speaking in front of a crowd? And how can a person get over it?
Presentation Trainer Olivia Mitchell describes three reasons humans dread the podium: an ancient survival instinct, a personal memory of a botched presentation, and the conscious awareness of what’s at stake.
Survival instincts tell us that if we are separate from the group, we might die. In giving a speech, we are noticeably outside the group; see, they are all out there staring, and I am alone up here with my laser pointer.