There are a number of reasons why people are afraid of public speaking. It is such a great fear that is is actually in the top ten greatest fears of all people. Not everyone is afraid of it for the same reason though, so here are the top ten reasons why people are afraid to speak to large groups.
Failure. Most people are afraid that if they speak in public they will fail in some way. Most people are afraid of failure and therefore try to avoid it when they think they see it coming. Most people who are afraid of failure are also afraid that people will make fun of them when they have failed.
Insecurity. Most people feel insecure when everyone is staring at them, or sometimes just as bad when one or two people are not staring at them. When you are standing in front of a large group of people it can feel like you are exposing your inner truths to them even when you aren’t saying something important.
Perfectionism. Most people are so obsessed with making sure that it is perfect that they can’t even get around to performing the speech in front of people.
Stress. Some people worry so much about the stress it will cause them that they worry themselves into the stress they were worried about. This only makes the worry and the stress stronger next time they go to speak in public.
Lack of confidence. Most people do not have a lot of confidence in themselves. There is a fear that they simply can not speak when they get in front of so many people.
Disabilities. People who view themselves as having a disability, whether it is or not is irrelevant, will often people self conscious and worried about speaking in public.
Too Many People. Some people are just afraid of the sheer number of people who are going to be in attendance. This usually is also connected to a fear of failure or a fear of judgment.
Judgment. Most people are afraid that others are judging them badly. Even when this is not true, this can be one of the hardest fears to overcome because no amount of denial by the other people can make this fear be proven false.
Lack of Preparation. Some people are afraid that they don’t have enough training to prepare a speech, or they don’t know enough about the material to speak on it and therefore have a fear of public speaking
Lack of Knowledge. There are those people who really don’t know what to do, how to prepare, or how to practice and this can cause a lot of insecurities.
All of these fears can be overcome. Understanding the root(s) is the first step in becoming a more confident public speaker.