When I was growing up studying geography, my school, like every other school in the world, used what is referred to as the Mercator Map. This map, as shown above, is something that you will probably recognize. I thought this map was correct. Why would we be studying something that was wrong? It had to be correct. Then I saw an interesting episode of The West Wing and it forced me to re-think what I thought I knew. The episode had a fictitious group (the Cartographers for Social Justice) present to some staff members the problems with the Mercator map and why it should be replaced with Peters Projection map (seen below).
At first I thought it was just an amusing part of the show. This can't be real, how can a map that every kid has studied be that blatantly wrong. However, after doing some research I found that the Mercator map was indeed wrong. The position of countries on the map and the size were wrong. Interestingly, this debate has been going on for quite a long time and it is getting fixed. While companies do still print the Mercator Map for wall maps, most schools have begun to switch over to the Peters Projection map. While students do see the Mercator Map, they are at least introduced to a different version and can see why they are different.
Change can be difficult. It took geographers decades to get the correct maps printed in textbooks and taught to kids. Yet today, there are still schools who have not completely switched over. Most of us don't like change - we like the comfort of knowing things stay the same. It is this comfort that prevents us from changing.
This is a main reason why a lot of people don't like to give speeches in public - it is something different. If you are not used to giving a speech in public, it is a change from what you are comfortable with. You don't want to change what you have been doing because you are comfortable NOT giving a speech. Sometimes we need to become uncomfortable - we need to fight that comfort zone and do something different. Being able to give a speech in front of an audience is a skill everyone should develop. It needs to replace the idea that you don't have to give a public speech. Change is a good thing.
So, when you look at the two maps and realize that what was right took some time to fix, apply that to your speaking fears. If you are afraid, that is fine. But realize that unless you fix it and step out of your comfort zone and change, you'll never become a great public speaker.