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Showing posts from May, 2019

Is Public Speaking Our Number One Fear?

There's a widely held belief that people are more afraid of public speaking than of dying... Shocking, right!?

I'm pretty sure this idea was popularized by Jerry Seinfeld's joke (also stated on his sitcom, a favorite of mine) that goes something like this, “A recent study showed that people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! This means, to the average person, if you're at a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
I've come across this 'fact' in textbooks, articles, and countless conversations. It sure makes public speaking sound more dramatic and daring. It's funny, it's clever...but it happens to be factually incorrect. Allow me to explain!
This 'fact' is based on a survey from the seventies that asked people to state whether they were afraid of a series of items. More individuals happened to say they were afraid of public speaking than they said they were afraid of death. N…