PUBLIC SPEAKING NEEDN'T BE SCARY (This article was first published by The Glass House in 2016)Glossophobia, fear of public speaking, is the number one phobia in the world. The idea of standing in front of a group of people and delivering a speech creates such a reaction is many that in extreme cases some people break into a cold sweat or feel the need to vomit just thinking about it. Unlike the fear of snakes or vertigo (falling) or other instances which can result in death, talking to a group of people – when you look at it on a basic level – is really not that scary. We talk to people one on one every day of our lives. You certainly can’t die from embarrassment (even though you may be wanting the floor to swallow you up) and the only thing you can trip over are your words, you can only metaphorically fall on your face. What’s the worst that can happen? You forget your lines and you look silly? So what? But like any phobia, it isn’t logical and it’s never that straight forward. This week I'm one of the key speakers at Rise & Lead, a women in business summit in The Hague. To an extrovert like me, someone who has spent years working in sales, studied drama and gives presentations for a living, the idea of all eyes being on me is a thrill. I love it. You could put me in the O2 stadium in front of 30,000 people and tell me the Queen is in the audience and I’d happily prattle on about anything you ask me to. In fact you may struggle to get the microphone back off me. But as we all know, fears derive from being outside of our comfort zones and lacking confidence, something that only comes with experience and practise and exposure.