A movement is burgeoning among anxiety-ridden high schoolers to eliminate in-class presentations.
According to The Atlantic:
… in the past few years, students have started calling out in-class presentations as discriminatory to those with anxiety, demanding that teachers offer alternative options. This week, a tweet posted by a 15-year-old high-school student declaring “Stop forcing students to present in front of the class and give them a choice not to” garnered more than 130,000 retweets and nearly half a million likes. A similar sentiment tweeted in January also racked up thousands of likes and retweets.
The Atlantic cited a recent study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics that posited anxiety is accelerating at a faster rate than depression among teenagers.
According to the The National Institute of Mental Health, public speaking anxiety, or glossophobia, affects roughly 73% of the population. The Chapman University Survey on American Fears, studying phobias, reported that Americans feared public speaking more than heights, bugs, snakes, drowning, needles, claustrophobia, flying, or strangers.
Yet if a child learns to be comfortable speaking publicly, a big payoff could be in their future. The current median annual salary for motivational speakers is $107,173.