Why do people fear public speaking? Does everyone experience speech anxiety? How common is this problem? Public speaking fear affects most people. Some may avoid jobs or interviews because they are afraid to speak in front of strangers. Some fail at school or at work for the same reason. Others have a hard time making friends. For those who run a business, speech anxiety can be a major problem. Not only it can stop them from growing their business, but affect their brand and public image.
Why Do People Fear Public Speaking: Interesting Stats
It is estimated that 20 to 85 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety, including politicians, actors, and business professionals. Even those who speak for a living are dealing with this problem. So why do people fear public speaking? Let’s take a look at these stats:
• More than 75 percent of women suffer from speech anxiety;
• About 73 percent of men have this problem;
• Over 5.3 million Americans have a social phobia;
• Over 3.2 million Americans are afraid of public places and crowded areas.
• Approximately 85 percent of people feel uncomfortable speaking in public;
• Speech anxiety affects three out of four people.
Studies indicate that people fear giving a speech more than they fear darkness, spiders, death, heights, open spaces, small rooms, thunder, and flying in airplanes. Public speaking fear ranks higher than any other phobia out there. Why do people fear public speaking so much?
Why Do People Fear Public Speaking: Possible Causes
Public speaking fear can have several causes, including:
• The fear of being judged or criticized
• All or nothing thinking
• The tendency to anticipate that things will turn out badly
• Stress and anxiety
• Traumatic events from the past
For many people, speech anxiety is the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy. You might be afraid that your mind goes completely blank and believe that things will turn out badly. If you’re having personal problems, stress can magnify what would otherwise be minor things. The answer to the question “Why do people fear public speaking?” is unknown. Scientists have failed to determine the exact cause of speech anxiety. However, most experts seem to agree that public speaking fear results from an overwhelming feeling of stress.
Why do people fear public speaking and how to cope with anxiety? The best way to control your nerves and overcome this problem is to practice. When you know your topic from the inside out, you feel more confident and self-secure.