Whenever an average person thinks of a public speaking situation, the immediate emotion he feels is fear. Fear of Speaking in Public is universal. For some people, it will be at a sub-conscious level and for others, it will be perceptible. Yet, speaking is something which everyone enjoys. In fact, talking to others is one of the psychological needs of human beings. But still, people have this irrational fear. Why do we have this fear and what can we do to come out of this?
Fears can be of various types. One category of fear is the fear of the unknown. If you are offered your dream job with a handsome salary, you will be elated. But if you are told that your place of work will be a town not familiar to you, your enthusiasm will instantly evaporate. People fear unknown places, unknown people, unknown things and unknown experiences. The fear of public speaking stems from the natural tendency of the human mind to fear the unknown.
Do you travel often? Recall your experiences. How comfortable are you with a person sitting next to you in a train or a plane? Initially, you have a lurking suspicion about the person. Will he or she be an affable person? You fear him though he could not do you any harm, unless he is a terrorist, which is only a remote possibility. (Anyway, this fear has been there even in those days when terrorism had not raised its head.) But after a while, once you start exchanging a few words, you become more comfortable with him and the fear fades away.
The above example helps us to understand the genesis of the fear of speaking in public. More importantly, it also gives us a clue to overcome this fear. You understand that it is natural for you to be apprehensive of speaking in public. After all fearing the unknown is a natural trait of human beings. But how do we drive out this fear? We are relieved of our reservations about our next seat neighbor in the train by getting ourselves acquainted with them. The unknown person becomes a friendly neighbor in no time. You can use the same strategy with public speaking.
If you want to free yourself from the fear of public speaking, get acquainted with public speaking. How do you do this? Speak! Speak in public, whenever there is an opportunity. Plunge into the public speaking arena without giving an opportunity to your fear to talk you out of it.