UnknownGetting off controversial topics for awhile, I was reminded on the weekend about one woman I’ve worked with in the past who is enjoying an excellent career but is desperately afraid of public speaking. And there’s even a word for it: Glossophobia.

Unfortunately these days, if you want a career that progresses into senior management you’ll have to get good at this, no matter how distasteful it is.

There’s lots and lots of stuff on the web on why this occurs: fear of failure, inability to be vulnerable, self-doubt. I was even reading an archaeological perspective on the subject wherein people are afraid to rise up in a tribe for fear of being kicked out and thus not being defended and ending up being eaten by sabre toothed tigers.

The thing to remember is, no one is thinking about you anyway. They’re all too busy thinking about themselves to waste time thinking about you. If you don’t believe me, wait 30 days after you’ve done a presentation and ask anyone there what they thought of your presentation.

Chances are, unless it was the worst one they’ve ever seen or the best, they won’t remember a thing you said or how you said it. But if they happened to ask a question at your presentation, they’ll remember what the question was, how smart it made them sound, and how everyone was in awe of their brilliance.

So stop worrying about public speaking. There are no sabre-toothed tigers anymore, even if some of your co-workers look like they are ready to tear you limb from limb.