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Why Speaking In Public Makes You Panic

Ever wonder why the thought of giving a talk at work makes you sweat? Panicking before a performance may seem like a major nuisance in the modern world. But it’s all part of the fight-or-flight response, which has hardwired itself into our brains through millions of years of evolution.


When our ancestors on the African savannah confronted a dangerous predator, they needed to be able to charge up and flee as quickly as possible. That’s why our brains developed a way of kickstarting our adrenal glands, upping our heart rate, and allowing us to expend a burst of energy really, really fast.

So, next time the thought of giving your boss a quarterly report makes your stomach twist into knots, don’t feel bad. To your brain, he’s just another hungry lion.

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This explains why my former boss’s advice all but nulls Public speaking anxiety.

Boss: “Are you getting paid?”

Me: Well Yeah.

Boss: “Is anyone shooting at you?”

Me: Um No

Boss: "Then there's nothing to worry about."