Monday, November 7, 2011

Public Speaking

My biggest fear? Speaking in front of a room full of spiders.
The Internet went out for a few hours today, and with an upset stomach, and nothing to do; I started to wonder about why so many people fear public speaking. Why are so many of us adverse to it? Supposedly seventy-five percent of people experience some sort of anxiety when publicly speaking. Sometimes it happens to me, all of a sudden my sympathetic nervous system kicks in, and I start to get sweaty, and my heart races, and oh jeez.

Evolutionary psychologists suggest that our fears have been hardwired into our brains. We fear heights, spiders, and the dark because our ancestors that didn't, were promptly genetically pruned. Of course the problem with this theory is that there is no way to test it without a time machine.

Can the same be true to public speaking? Would expressing your views to a group put you in as much danger as being somewhere high up, or being attacked by a wild animal? Ostracization could have certainly meant death in certain situations. Then again, many people who do speak out are put in danger (Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Yitzhak Rabin, Gandai, Larry Flint, Jesus, George Harrison, Alan Berg).

But the concept of public speaking being so dangerous is astounding to me. Perhaps  it is the same reason why the judgment of others is so important to us? I don't know... only questions to think about...

1 comment:

  1. "Speaking in front of a room full of spiders." lolwut