What is the origin of this fear? The main cause is lack of confidence on the part of the speaker. The question of confidence is dealt with fully in Chapter 8 but suffice it for now to say that proper preparation and presentation is the first step towards establishing confidence. The second cause of fear is the lack of practice. In fact public speaking is one of those activities that cannot be carried out in a practice situation: it is always either the real thing or not realistic. The third cause of the fear of speaking in public is the lack of proper feedback. No one, not even your best friend, will tell you honestly how you performed. You are forced to live forever with your own uncertainties and subjective evaluation, an evaluation more over which is made at a time of strain.