Why Do We Get Nervous When We Speak? Maybe Public Speaking is an Unnatural Act
Category: Body Energy
Public speaking is the number one fear of the average person. It’s a statistic that’s repeated constantly. But the question remains: “Why?”
There are plenty of psychologists that will give you a theory. But here’s another thought. Could it be that we fear public speaking because it is an unnatural act for the human species? Put another way, if you look at the evidence, humans were not designed to stand in front of large groups and speak. As a result, most of us feel uncomfortable doing it.
Consider the evidence:
Exhibit A: Our voices. We have soft voices that obviously weren’t designed to address large groups of people. If we were intended to address large groups, wouldn’t we have voices that didn’t need microphones to be heard in large auditoriums?
Exhibit B: Our stature. If we were intended to speak to large groups, we would be much taller. That way we wouldn’t have to stand on platforms when addressing large groups.
Exhibit C: Our facial features. One of the most expressive things about our bodies is our faces. Yet we have small eyes and mouths. Our facial expressions are only effective when speaking in intimate settings where your listeners can really read your face.
The number one way to overcome a fear of public speaking is to rehearse like crazy. Next time you’re feeling really nervous about a presentation, practice like your life depends on it. You’ll still be nervous, but you’ll do a lot better than you expect.
Speechworks is a communication and selling skills coaching firm. We teach professionals how to craft and deliver complex messages in a simple, persuasive manner. Since 1986, through workshops and one-on-one instruction, we have helped countless individuals become better presenters and communicators. You can reach us at 404.266.0888, firstname.lastname@example.org or on the web at www.speechworks.net