Fear of public speaking.
Out of all of the fears, the fear of public speaking is number one on peoples list. The fear of death is on number 3. That tells you something about how deep rooted this fear is.
When we look back in our primate history and in our neurology we can see why.
We as primates didn't had the sharpest claws, the thickest skins or were the fastest or the thronged to among all the species.
We had nevertheless a bigger prefrontal cortex. The part of the brain that calculates relationships and degrees of separation.
This allowed us to form groups and organise ourselves much more than other species. Once we were able to imagine other groups as individuals and see how they could cooperate we became very powerful and dominated the rest of the species without competition.
That forming groups and organising became our strongest asset it also created a fear: The fear of being an outsider. The fear of being cast out the group.
Because being in the group means staying alive, it means survival and being cast out was almost the same as a death sentence.
Now millions of years later we still have that fear because it was necessary for our survival so the ones with fear for being cast out survived longer and those stayed in the gene pool.
Neurologically our brain wired therefor pain for being vast out, pain for being excluded from the group in the same regions as physical pain. Processing social exclusion is processes by the same neurons that process physical pain. That's why we feel it also as physical pain.
And teachers didn't help much either by ridiculing and being angry at kids that didn't liked being in front of the class especially when those kids our in those years that they our super influenceable and vulnerable by group pressure and social conformity.
In order to be a great public speaker it is necessary to put this in perspective for ourselves and remind ourselves that there are no tigers lurking anymore in most places like before and that people having opinions about us is not really something that physically can hurt us. Now we have more groups than ever and when one group doesn't want to accept you you can go to another group. Find your tribe.
That doesn't solve the pain that many people feel when going on a podium or stage.
That requires practice and play with our neurology. Check out the video below if you want to know how.