December 20, 2006

The Book of Lists



As you know, I'm a word nerd. I'm also a statistics freak; that is, I only use statistics when I can prove that a citation exists by seeing it with my own eyes. I've heard way too many stats repeated that are just plain untrue, and in my many years of public speaking, the last thing I've ever wanted to do is give my audience a good reason to doubt my credibility.

So there's this "Book of Lists" which, at one time or another, listed the fear of public speaking as the number one fear of Americans, beating out death, heights, spiders and all other yucky things.

I have yet to find a copy of the book that actually cites this statistic. There are several editions of The Book of Lists, so it's possible that this statistic was mentioned in one edition, 30 years ago, and never again.

Does anyone out there have a copy of the edition with the public speaking stat? I think I might try to contact the publisher and see if they can tell me anything.

Really, this is driving me nuts.

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1 comments. Please add yours! :

Ross Bowring said...

Hey Lisa,

Found a possible source as I was surfing around. This site says the Sunday Times did a survey of 3,000 Americans in 1973. Take a look at:

http://www.web-source.net/web_development/public_speaking.htm

Happy New Year!

Ross

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