When I ask people what scares them about public speaking, virtually every answer comes down to vulnerability.
What if my mid goes blank? What if I sound stupid? What if I make a mistake and somebody calls me out? What if I accidentally offend someone?
Standing in front of others to speak your truth leaves you vulnerable to judgment, to criticism, to rotten vegetables pelted by an angry mob.
Millions of years of evolution have taught us to survive by seeking safety and avoiding vulnerability. Even in our sheltered modern lives, some ancient part of our brains resists any attempt to do the opposite. In that sense the fear of public speaking is normal, natural, and entirely justified.
But here’s the thing.
As a speaker, you’re not just vulnerable. You’re also powerful. In fact, your vulnerability IS your power.