21 Public Speaking Statistics and Facts (2023)

This article contains some of the most up-to-date statistics and facts about public speaking and presentations. It includes interesting statistics about people’s emotional response to public speaking, as well as lots of interesting insights which may help us approach and understand public speaking differently.

This first statistic illustrates how people are emotionally affected by public speaking:

Fear of public speaking, or glossophobia, is estimated to affect 75 percent of adults.

NBC News

But some really love it!

About 10 percent of the population loves public speaking. That group experiences no fear and get a huge buzz being in front of a large crowd.


Another 10 percent are genuinely terrified. Those are the people who are physically debilitated by even the thought of public speaking.


The following fact is a very good one to keep in mind for when you’re trying to drive a point home:

Studies show that audience attention levels peak after the presenter has used humour or has moved closer to the audience or began talking off script.

Kennesaw State University

If you want your audience to remember something, use something visual!

Just three hours after a presentation, 85% of the audience can remember content presented visually vs. 70% who can retain verbal content. But after three days, 60% can still remember the visual content, whereas only 10% can remember something from the oral presentation.

Presentation Training Institute

Or even better, present it in the form of a story.

When facts are presented in the form of a story, people are 22 times more likely to remember them.


The point prevalence of social phobia was estimated at 15.6%, but prevalence rates varied between 1.9 and 20.4% across the different levels of distress and impairment used to define cases. Public speaking was the most common social fear. Social phobia was associated with female gender, low educational attainment, psychiatric medication use, and lack of social support.

Social phobia in the general population: prevalence and sociodemographic profile

Every four out of ten people rank public speaking fear as one of their apex three fears, a fear more dreadful than death.

Anxiety Level in Students of Public Speaking: Causes and Remedies by Farhan Raja

89.4% of patients with social anxiety disorder had a fear of public speaking.

Epidemiology of social phobia: a clinical approach

Females report systematically more communication anxiety than males.

Behnke and Sawyer (2000), Lustig and Andersen (1990)

only 8% of people suffering from social anxiety or public speaking fear seek professional help.

Help-seeking patterns of anxiety-disordered individuals in the general population

Presentations that contain PowerPoint’s custom animations require more concentration and make it harder for the viewer to remember the content than slides with no animations.

University of Wilmington, Carolina

Digital distractions such as mobile phones and the internet are one of the biggest inhibitors to holding audience attention during a presentation.

Kennesaw State University

Body language plays a massive role in the success of your presentations:

High power posers, participants who adopted expansive, open (high-power) poses, performed better and were more likely to be chosen for hire, and this relationship was mediated only by presentation quality, not speech quality.

The Benefit of Power Posing Before a High-Stakes Social Evaluation

Public speaking anxiety (PSA, also known as fear of public speaking, or the fear of speaking in public) is classified in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; American Psychiatric Association) as a social anxiety disorder. It is reported as prevalent in 15% to 30% of the general population.

Observations: Public Speaking Anxiety in Graduate Medical Education—A Matter of Interpersonal and Communication Skills?

Up to 10% of those with PSA report that their public speaking anxiety results in an interference with daily activities, including work and education.

Observations: Public Speaking Anxiety in Graduate Medical Education—A Matter of Interpersonal and Communication Skills?

Students who fear public speaking can perform well if they use certain strategies to fight their fears.

Anxiety Level in Students of Public Speaking: Causes and Remedies

75% participants admitted their fear of public speaking and 95% participants agreed that if proper counseling, instruction and coaching is provided, this fear can be overcome.

Anxiety Level in Students of Public Speaking: Causes and Remedies

Research revealed that exposure to virtual environment can facilitate student confidence and enables themto face audience irrespective of the size.

Anxiety Level in Students of Public Speaking: Causes and Remedies

52% of those with a high school education or less fear speaking in public, compared to only 24% of college graduates.

Brewer, 2001

You have three seconds to capture your audience’s attention.

Glance Test

70% of marketers say that interactive content is more effective when it comes to engaging your audience.

i-on interactive

Stories were more powerful than statistics and drove in twice as many donations. That’s because the presenters could effectively showcase how and who those donations would help, vs. showing just statistics.

Sympathy and callousness: The impact of deliberative thought on donations to identifiable and statistical victims

When ideas are presented in graphs or pictures, they’re easier to remember and comprehend than just words.

Are Pictures Really Worth A Thousand Words? When It Comes to Memory They Are

I hope this article and its statistics and facts about public speaking have been useful. There are many really thought-provoking insights here and there are plenty of great links to the original sources for each.