PERFORMANCE ANXIETY AND FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
Whether it is answering a question in class or giving a presentation to the board, most people have experienced a racing heart, clammy hands, or a shaky voice. These physical responses are normal, and sometimes the adrenaline surge that creates these physical symptoms can even propel people to create a stronger performance than they might have otherwise. However, when the fear response goes too far, performance can suffer. In fact, this fear can grow so large that people will avoid giving presentations or speeches, playing in athletic competitions, or giving music recitals altogether.
Though there are no exact numbers, most researchers estimate about 10% of people deal with some sort of performance anxiety. Not only are the symptoms uncomfortable, but performance anxiety can significantly impair people's abilities to advance in their careers. Further, it can prevent people from taking part in important life events, like a wedding or bat mitzvah.
But performance anxiety can be conquered! With the right tools, even people with the worst performance anxiety can succeed in their jobs, dominate in their chosen sport, and give a riotous best man speech.