You may recall that I've been trying to track down current and legitimate research on the fear of public speaking. The same tired old statistic "People fear speaking more than they fear death" has been eagerly accepted and repeated as fact, even though the study that is usually quoted is over 30 years old.
While digging around for current research, I came across this 2001 Gallup poll on American Fears.
Guess what's NOT the top fear: public speaking.
Snakes are #1, with 51% of respondents reporting this fear. Public speaking is #2, with 40% of respondents reporting this fear.
Wait, only 40% of Americans fear public speaking (this is a decrease of 5% from their last poll in 1998)? And 1% had no opinion? That means 59% do NOT fear public speaking.
This is a long way from the stats I see where supposedly 95% of the population fears public speaking, and fears it more than death.
We can all choose the surveys we want to support our beliefs and opinions, of course. There is other research out there, and some of you may prefer to quote the doom and gloom.
But not me. So as I said the other day, let's focus on the positive here. Why keep pounding into our own heads how much we're supposed to fear public speaking, or how impossible it is to manage fear of public speaking?
Let's talk about what we enjoy about public speaking, what we love about public speaking, and how great we feel when we're connecting with an audience. Leave your positive comments about public speaking on this post.