This article rings true with me. I avoid public speaking like the plague. The prospect of it fills me with absolute REAL terror. It's an automated process that I have no control over. It just kicks in naturally, which suggests it is coming from a deep and primitive part of my mind. I have also been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Communication with others is difficult, and this probably feeds the fear of rejection and the anxiety. Making eye contact with those not in my close family is extremely difficult. Making small-talk is difficult. I know that I must seem strange to people, and this fuels my anxiety.
Unless you have experienced the fear, don't presume to understand or underplay how terrifying a situation is it. Consciously I know it is an illogical and vastly exaggerated fear, but as I said, the emotion kicks in automatically.