Picture this: You're about to give the biggest presentation of the year, and your body starts to rebel – sweaty palms, butterflies in your stomach, and dry mouth. You're not alone. One-in-four Americans list public speaking as their top fear, beating out heights, flying, and exotic poison filled insects.
Public speaking is commonly listed as one of the top ten fears right along heights, flying, and exotic poison filled insects. In fact one in four of Americans list fear of public speaking as their number one fear.
We worry about forgetting our content, coming across as incompetent or boring, losing control of our bodily functions, being unable to finish the speech, and being judged. We fear criticism as we don’t want to put our reputation and our identity on the line.
But let's say you're one of the few who loves a good adrenalin rush and thrives on being in front of crowd. For those there may be the fear of not having a well crafted presentation. Are you communicating your brand’s story well? Are you captivating the attention of the audience and leaving a positive long-lasting impression? Are you furthering your cause? Making the sale?
A well-written speech can stir hearts, move people to action, and create revolutions. With so much riding on a good presentation, we find it puzzling that the most common speaking advice is to “picture the audience in their underwear”.