25 Years of SN—Larry Ragan

Judge for yourself: a fate worse than death?

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Is that barely discernable pain in your gut the beginning of colon cancer?

How could you have forgotten your boss’ name the other day? Is that the first sign of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Will your adolescent son drink too much and kill himself driving home? Will your daughter break her neck when her motorcycle hits an oil streak?

Will you cut the mustard with your new boss?

You would have put none of those fears at the top of your list, according to a survey that “market researchers’ have conducted among 3,000 Americans. You fear, more than anything else—even death—speaking in public!

Do you believe that?

Again and again I see the results of that survey, quoted most recently in a lengthy puff piece in the Chicago Tribune, extolling the speech training skills of Communispond, Sandy Liver, and others.

You see this gun? I’m going to shoot you dead if you don’t go out and talk to those 50 people in the next room. What’ll it be?

To ask the question is to answer it. The survey is a set-up. It is a marketing device and it is phony.

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