Do You Have Fear of Public Speaking Syndrome?
What’s the one thing that new speakers fear the most about giving a speech? You might think the answer is “everything,” but there is one fear that tops all the others.
That fear is, “OMG! I’m so afraid that my mind will go blank and I’ll just be standing up there in front of everybody, looking like a complete fool!”
Have you ever experienced that fear? If so, let me ask you this… “Did you ever attend junior high school?”
It all begins in Junior High
Can you guess where I’m going with this? Yes, you might be having a Junior High School Flashback. The Junior High School Flashback is a newly discovered form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you are a fellow junior high school survivor, you almost certainly know what that is.
The disorder usually arises during the period that a person is experiencing the extreme insecurity of puberty, while attending junior high school. Sooner or later a junior high school student does something embarrassing in front of their similarly insecure peers. Drunk with relief that they are not the embarrassed party, said peers band together and claim that, “No one could possibly be so stupid as to have ever done such a ridiculous thing ever before in history!” … each peer secretly squirming at the memory of having done the same thing just yesterday.
If you attended junior high school and are afraid of speaking in public, please rest assured that your reaction is fairly common.
Let’s consider the facts…
The bad news is that, having one’s mind go blank unfortunately does happen from time to time. The good news is that once you are an adult, it is highly unlikely that vicious gangs of peers will join forces to exacerbate your humiliation — unless of course you are in politics, in which case I wish you good luck.
In fact the vast majority of people do survive MGB (mind going blank) attacks. I, myself, am an MGB survivor. It all started with the golden opportunity to sing a funny song (a commercial for my business Moving Forward) in front of over 100 people.
At least I knew what I wish I had known in junior high school: No one can laugh at you if you laugh at yourself first. Strangely enough, I kind of like how this mishap turned out. No one can say that it isn’t funny!