Are you terrified of public speaking or do you enjoy getting up in front of a crowd? If you happen to identify with the former, you’re in good company. It has been stated that ‘Glossophobia,’ or the fear of public speaking, is one of the top phobias that individuals experience.
I have done my fair share of public speaking over the last 10+ years and I know how debilitating it can be if you are anxious about the process. I am an IT / Oil & Gas consulting executive and my job is to give sales presentations, software demos, execute the proposal response process, manage our client relationships and lead our team in the delivery of projects and client support. There are a lot of opportunities to speak publicly to both my superiors and my team. I am probably one of the few/weird humans who actually enjoys speaking in public. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still nervous every time I do it. My heartbeat quickens, I worry that I’ll forget everything I prepared to say and I fear that I’ll be judged. But oddly enough, presenting gives me a rush and I always feel energized after doing it. [Now, I will say that while I like to give presentations, speak at conferences and lead meetings in a professional setting, I can completely clam up in a social setting. I think that with my work, I feel like I have a script to fall back on and that gives me the courage and confidence I need. However, socially I can get nervous and let the fear of people’s judgement shake me. Interesting dichotomy, huh? But that’s a topic for another day. 😉 ]