I once overheard a conversation where someone was communicating negative feedback. The only thing was the person giving the feedback allegedly wasn’t the one who felt that way – he had overheard someone else and wanted to share the criticism with the person it was directed towards. The person who received the feedback, which was a bit on the harsh side, replied back with “she’s my friend, she’d never say something like that about me or anyone else.”
When it comes to public speaking, and in particular the fear of public speaking, I’ve heard some wild things. “I wish I could give my speech in the dark.” “I wish I could be invisible when I have to give a speech.” I’ve yet to hear anyone say that they wish they could give a speech that no one can hear, so there’s obviously something about being seen by and audience that strikes fear in the hearts of many.
There are a number of things that cause the fear of public speaking but they generally fall into one of three categories:
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the waiting area while my car was being serviced when a woman sitting next to me struck up a conversation with me. She had noticed the flyers I had for a free public speaking workshop and told me that she desperately needed to improve her speaking skills because her failure to do so had ruined her career. As I looked at this bright young woman who seemed difficult to dislike, I asked her to tell me more.
We all feel down from time to time. Sometimes, it has to do with things that seemingly shouldn’t have any effect on us such negative stories in the news or even the weather (Seasonal Depression affects a lot of folks). Other times, it’s a bit deeper: someone says something to us, we feel overwhelmed with everything going on in our lives or we’re not feeling well physically, which often affects us psychologically.