I was afraid of a lot of things as a kid. Not sure where I got that from but I was extremely shy as child, didn't like to speak up in class and heaven forbid if I was ever called upon to answer a question; it took me the longest time to do so without breaking out in tears ( at least in the early grades).
So if you recall, my mother encouraged, pushed or maybe out and out bullied me to step up and conquer fears --by making me sign up to run for class president when I was 11years old when in grade 7. And representing at speech competitions in school around the same time. You notice a common thread there? Public speaking, speaking in front of public, people, several at a time ... Yes I was deathly afraid of it, and to be honest, it still shakes me somewhat.
Today when I disclose how introverted I am, most people are pretty surprised. When I took a communications class during business school I would speak but reluctantly -and after presentations I would breathe huge sighs of relief. My friends never saw the turmoil of nerves below the surface.
Nowadays my job requires that I speak in front of people on a pretty regular basis. Whether it be in front of my department, in front of the whole company, on stage at a conference (gulp) or in front of royalty (another story) ...it can still feel like I'm jumping off a cliff , whoever the audience. Or other times I can just wing it, coming up with content 2 minutes before going on. Unbelievable to me, but possible.
It just takes a good deep breath, visualization, putting on my big girl pants and taking a few seconds to stand in my Wonderwoman pose.
And then just try to shut me up!