The fear of public speaking describes the lack of confidence a person has in their abilities. Making them questioning their knowledge and the ability to convey the information they have to present. Cause the presenter to question how themselves. Stripping a person’s confidence will likely lead to them anxiety. Worrying about what the audience thinks of me, Am I conveying the information correctly, Am I boring the people listening to me, or am I to excited. I worry about my appearance. Knowing the information I’m giving is being judged. Do my words reflect my knowledge in the subject? The expectation the audience has can make this experience overwhelming.
The fear of the unknown drives the fear of public speaking. My fear of public speaking started in church. Every year for Easter and Christmas we do a play or recital and each child were required to speak in front of the congregation. Well as we watch the adults they became more and more nervous we would become nervous and forget our lines. As I got older the fear got worse reading in front of the class, speaking in front of groups or speaking in church. This fear often made social settings very difficult. Everyone is comfortable speaking to their friends. I kept my group really small so I would never put myself in a situation where I was fearful to speak. Never allowing my group to grow or distancing myself from the group when it starts to grow.
One year for Thanksgiving my family we around the table and we were suppose to give one thing were thankfully for I become so nervous I couldn’t speak and my mom got so mad never thinking I was nervous I couldn’t speak. My hands begin to shake my mouth became super dry and my heart was beating so hard and fast I thought I would pass out. My mother thought I was being difficult she sent me to my room and told me when I could come out and tell the family one thing I was thankful for then I could eat. Two hours in to my punishment my aunt came to my room to ask me why I would just say that I was thankful for my family and I explain to her what happened she understood and explained what happened to my mother.
Instead of respecting my feeling about not speaking in public she made it worse. She made me stand with her while she explained to the family what happened and also making me express that I was thankful for my family. After that experience I vow to never speak in public again by any means necessary. I often got in trouble in class to avoid reading out loud in class or answering question. Well one of my teacher figured out what I was doing and had a parent teacher meeting with my mother to explain this fear to her and offer suggestions to help me overcome this fear. So my mother spoke to the pastor to have me become the church reporter.
Each Sunday morning before morning worship I would give the Sunday school attendance report to the congregation. Ten minutes before Sunday school was over someone would ring a bell and at the sound of that bell my heart would start to race. My palm would began to sweat and I would began to feel dizzy. My Sunday school teacher would have a chair sitting in the hallway and make me sit in it and breathe slowly into a paper bag until I got my breathing under control.
She would allow me to completely lose control and then she would walk up to the table with me help me with the report and stand with me until I was able to do it myself. Over the next couple of months it became easier and I was able to do the report, but I was never comfortable giving the report. Eventually I got a job and asked them schedule me on Sunday so I wouldn’t have to do the report again.
I have never overcome this fear I just avoid it. Group setting I feel more comfortable with I’m not the center of attention so I become more comfortable speaking. It’s a more relaxed setting allowing me to convey the information to my peers without the fear of being judged. This fear I feel would never go away and I do understand with practice I could become of a better speaker.