The majority, wait you didn't quite catch that, THE MAJORITY, of Americans say that, above all things, they are most terrified of speaking. In public. Do we not do that everyday? When you are walking down the street venting out all your relationship troubles and theories on life and how your roommate stole your plunger, other people hear you. Other people, who are in public. Baffled, are you? You never thought of how stupid or random you must sound to a passerby when you're engulfed in your rants to your best friend? You're telling me you've never heard tidbits and fragments of other people's conversations where you just thought, "God that person is an idiot." These are recent ones I've heard:
"No, I'm not talking about my dog, I'm talking about my boyfriend."
What? Did your boyfriend sniff your asshole?
"I eat food."
Oh, do you now? You eat food? Do you breathe air as well?
"I love when the weather is nice."
What a unique individual YOU are.
If so many people are scared shitless of public speaking, does that mean they only speak in private? Who are these "private speakers?" Is private speaking such a term? If so, what would that be exactly? People who will only converse with you if you're in a dark alleyway where no one can see you? People who talk to themselves? People who talk to their privates? As in private parts? As in who the FUCK does that? I NEED TO MEET THESE PEOPLE. I need to meet them, introduce myself, "Hi I'm Natasha yes that's how you pronounce it yadda yadda yadda I've been explaining my name for almost 2 decades thank a lot Mom and Pops blah blah blah" and then punch them in the face. Yes, I do realize that that may come across as "violent" or "unnecessary" or "fuckin weird" but this, I believe, is what these people deserve. It's not that I don't understand. I realize that phobias are beyond our control. I may say, "Why are you scared of public speaking you weirdo," and they can easily rebuttal with "Why are you scared of Oompa Loompas you freak," so you may be thinking this is a lost cause, but before you do, hear me out.
You know when you're talking to someone, and they don't seem interested at all? Not in the least bit? Either they're nodding their head incessantly while going, "Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Uh-huh." in the middle of you speaking, so you know they're really just trying to convince you that they already understand so there's no need for you to continue, or they're staring at you blankly so you know while you're talking they're really just taking what you're saying and relating it to themselves and thinking of tons of personal experiences they're going to spout off to YOU just as soon as you shut your mouth. Some people don't quite catch on to these subtle displays of body language that translate into, "I. DO. NOT. CARE." and they keep on talking your head off. These people suck. But so do the people who don't listen to you. That is why I, personally, do not care to share my personal stories as much as everyone else does because I know they don't give a shit and I know that I'm guilty of doing it, too. As soon as someone mentions an "ex", I start thinking of mine, as soon as someone mentions their parents, I start thinking of mine, as soon as guys start talking about their balls being licked, I don't know what to think. This is exactly the same situation as public speaking, except BETTER. This is why I love, love public speaking. Shall I go into more detail?
I walk up there, podium or no podium. (Podiums were really just invented for people with odd-looking bodies. Can you imagine if our world was podium-less? We wouldn't hear any speech William H. Taft made; we'd just be looking at his big fat body and imagining what a body like that looks like naked. But thanks to the invention of the podium, bodies are hidden and we as the audience are guilt-free!) With public speaking, I can talk and talk and talk and I don't have to listen to anyone else! It's all about me! It's all about what I'M saying, not you! Nanny nanny boo boo mother fuckers! You HAVE to listen to me and if you don't, I won't even notice because I'm not looking at you! No worries about eye contact, or accidentally looking down at someone's chest, or noticing something in someone's teeth and being completely disgusted, or sneezing on someone and completely disgusting them. Here, in the realm of public speaking, I can look wherever the fuck I want and sneeze wherever the fuck I want! I don't have to pause and pretend I care about your response; I can go as long as I want and I won't feel bad about it. Seriously, a million eyes on you is way better than just two. With just two, think how closely you get examined as you speak. With a million, that just means more people who are afraid you'll catch them dozing off or texting someone. YOU have the power; not them.
If you're number one fear is public speaking, and you're reading this thinking, 'She doesn't understand. She just doesn't understand,' then I have three suggestions for you:
1. GET OVER IT
2. MOVE ON
3. IMAGINE OOMPA LOOMPAS GIVING YOU A LAP DANCE
Public speaking will be your number one fear no longer.