Lots of people dislike public speaking because the entire audience is focused on you and seemingly critical of any flaw or mistake. But you know what? The audience often just wants you to finish so they can get on with their life.
Photo by Cornell University
Personal tips weblog Dumb Little Man offers insight into this issue:
Someone I respect a great deal once told me that 'shyness is pride.' What he meant was that shy people spend too much time worrying about themselves and how they look in the eyes of other people, when they should be focusing on what's outside, trying to do a good job, trying to add value to the situation. This is brilliant advice — start thinking about others and less about yourself. In fact, everyone else is actually thinking about themselves, too. Nobody really cares about you. So stop being so self absorbed.
I know that many times when I've been stuck hearing presenters at awards shows and conferences I politely listen, but I don't really care if they're a perfect speaker or just a good one. Stop worrying so much about what your audience is thinking and finish the presentation already.
How to Finally Overcome Shyness [Dumb Little Man]