No Proof To “Fear of Public Speaking – Book of Lists”!
The oft-quoted statement that people fear public speaking more than they fear death, or that the Book of Lists rates the fear of public speaking as one of the top-ten fears, is awfully difficult to prove. I have been looking for the actual statistic for some time as a speaking/presentation skills coach and trainer and cannot find the specific, direct reference.
I've searched Amazon, the library, Books in Print, all kinds of advanced Internet searches, the Census Bureau, and asked a lot of coach, speaker, trainer, and author colleagues to no avail. "No one" seems to have the direct statistical reference to this claim.
While public speaking fears are real because I see and hear plenty of people quiver, shake, sweat, and otherwise exhibit nervousness or outright phobia, the quoted statistics that "experts" use (including me, until now) is difficult to find. I question whether the statistic really exists!
As I research a completely different point while writing a program description for a workshop I will give in a few months I find THESE supportive statements attesting to the "can't find this statistic" result. Wow! I'm not alone in my search. I vow to not make the statement that people fear public speaking more than death ever again! At least, my intention is not to do so. If any of you are ever in my programs, hold me to this.