The fear of preparation

Speaking to 1 person isn’t hard, but speaking in front of 40 people is a nightmare for most people. What makes public speaking so hard?

We assume that most of the fear and anxiety with public speaking comes from our fear of embarassing ourselves in public. But when we speak for 20 minutes before 40 people, we have consumed a total of 800 minutes worth of human attention. Therefore, whatever we say needs to be rehearsed, revised and polished for enough of those 40 people feeling like it was worth their time. And doing that requires several hours of preparation.

We don’t think of ourselves as having a fear of preparation. Yet most of our fear of speaking in public is actually the fear of preparing for the act. Our nervousness on stage is also a result of lack of preparation.

Preparation is the act of taming those wild butterfies in our stomachs.

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