Public speaking is the most common fear out there (even more common than fearing death or dentists), but what’s all the fuss about? Public speaking is what’s referred to as a “social phobia.” Generally, the fear stems from poor self-image. And those who are nervous about speaking are generally afraid they’ll appear anxious, making them more anxious. Talk about a vicious cycle!

While those with more minor nerves are typically able to overcome them and improve over the course of a speech, folks with a more acute fear of speaking are likely to grow worse as the speech progresses. To kick things off on the right foot, a clear head is essential. And while alcohol may appear help some, it hurts more speakers than it helps. Instead, try deep breathing and, of course, being well prepared.

The Takeaway: When nervous about public speaking, don’t rely on booze, which is likely to make the speech more difficult. Instead, try deep-breathing exercises.

And 20 More Fears…

A lot of us are afraid of shark attacks and being struck be lightning, but it looks like those shouldn’t be your top concerns. Here’s how worried you should actually be.

Fun Quote:

“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.” — Karl Augustus Menninger