Monday, February 26, 2024
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Social anxiety statistics


what percentage of people would you say suffer from anxiety while public speaking? and where does this anxiety come from?

That's a really interesting question because articles you read on the internet tend to overestimate the number.

Many articles talk about the fact that people fear public speaking more than death. You hear Seinfeld's quote a lot: (something like) most people would rather be in the casket at funeral than do the eulogy. This makes it sound like most people are terrified of public speaking.Based on a recent study, 28.4% of the US population is either afraid or very afraid of public speaking. I've seen other Gallup Polls in the 40-45% range.

The real answer is that (1) everyone has at least some fear of public speaking, and (2) people have different levels of fear. In fact, if you look at the cheat sheet, you'll see fear ranging from low, medium and high.

Based on the studies, I estimate approximately 60-70% of the entire US population is in the low fear group and 30-40% of the US population is in the medium-to-high fear group. Low fear means that they have some fear, but the fear symptoms are mild enough so the fear doesn't get in the way of their performance. They can get through their speech or presentation with manageable fear.

Approximately, 30-40% are in the "medium-to-high" fear group. This group has a lot more fear, and it gets in the way of their performance. It may get in the way so much that they start to avoid all public speaking. That can stop them from graduating or advancing their career.

The anxiety comes from a fear of negative judgement or scrutiny.The more you fear negative judgement, the more you'll fear public speaking and many social situations.

I haven't found any studies for other countries. 

Dr. Cheryl Mathews Anxiety Coach