Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bursting a hilariously overblown claim that 99% of the world fears public speaking


On February 6, 2017 at LinkedIn Pulse Manoj Vasudevan (from Singapore) posted an article titled Fear DEATH…..NOT Public Speaking….that opened with a claim of 99%:

“In a recent Public Speaking Master Class, I asked the participants the following question: ‘Do you know what percentage of people in the world is afraid of public speaking?’

In came the answers, ‘Fifty percent?’, ‘Seventy percent?’, ‘Sixty two percent!’, “Ten percent?”....

‘About 99 percent’ I chimed in.

‘Aaah!’ The audience gasped.

I continued to prod. ‘What can you become when you overcome that fear?’

One lady said ‘We can be among the top 1 percent in the world.’

That’s so true.

It is said that the number-one fear of most people is the fear of public speaking.”

He never said where he got that 99% statistic, which seems to be an ipse dixit. It was not in the October 19, 2013 post in his Thought Expressions blog with an almost identical title of Fear DEATH…..NOT Public Speaking….  But it was in his July 10, 2016 YouTube video on How to Master Public Speaking (Part 1).
Later on in that LinkedIn Pulse article he said:

Thanks to powerful Internet search engines, most people have almost unhindered access to a vast ocean of information. Therefore, information or knowledge is no longer enough. You can no longer hide behind your qualifications or experience.

I previously had searched the Internet and found results from surveys that burst his 99% claim. There are no surveys covering the whole world. Instead, let’s look first at his home, Singapore, and its neighbor Malaysia. One blog post from August 11, 2013 was titled Public speaking was ranked sixth by a survey of workplace phobias in Singapore. Only 21.8% feared public speaking.

Another post from April 9, 2012 was titled Poll by Reader’s Digest Canada found fear of public speaking wasn’t ranked first in 15 of 16 countries surveyed. For Malaysian women being alone (30%) was first, going broke (29%) was second, speaking in public (24%) was third, and losing my looks (18%) was fourth. For Malaysian men being alone also was first (36%), going broke and speaking in public (29%) tied for second, and losing my looks (7%) was third.

Still another post from August 15, 2012 titled Surveys show that public speaking isn’t feared by the majority of adults in nine developed and eleven developing countries discussed how only 13.0% in developed countries and 9.4% in developing countries feared public speaking/performance.

On December 20, 2016 I posted about Bursting the overblown claim that 95% of Americans fear public speaking at some level. The even more overblown 99% claim also is burst. You can’t become the top 1% by overcoming that fear.  

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