In one of his comedy routines Jerry Seinfeld said that people fear public speaking more than death, so if they went to a funeral then they would rather be lying in the coffin than giving the eulogy. An Australian survey confirmed this.
The survey was taken by Newspoll for Reasontospeak.com and reported in the October 22, 2008 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald. They surveyed 1206 adults and reportedly 23% fear public speaking more than death, compared with 27% who rank death as their number one fear. Also, they reported that 28% of those who finished high school had public speaking as their worst fear, versus only 15% of those with university degrees. There also was an age difference. 25% of the 35-to-64 age group feared public speaking more than death, versus 18% of the 18-to-34 age group. They did not find a gender difference.