Oral presentations. What different feelings do you have linked to these words? Is it happiness and joy, or is it more panic and fear? What is it with oral presentations that makes our heart beat faster and why do most of us feel so unconfident doing it? And, last of all, why is school forcing us to do this? I think it is really wrong, and in this text I will explain why.
Point: Oral presentations are against our nature and biology.
Evidence: According to an american study of people's fears (look beside), 40% of the people asked answered that they are most afraid of to “talk in front of other people.” 19% answers “death”. So, to put this in context, people are more willing to put themselves 1 meter underground in a coffin than to place themselves speaking in front of other people.
Explanation: What more to say? When people in general are more scared of something the school is forcing us to do than death, then it is time to think about another solution. This study supports that almost everyone has a fear of talking in front of other people, and it is very logic that this could depend on our biology.
In fact, we are biologically created to avoid situations where you are separated from the group, because back in the days this was very dangerous, that made us a easy target for predators. It had shown to be beneficial to have this reaction to survive in that time period.
This depends on a very old part in our brain called the amygdala. Nowadays, we do not need this reaction anymore since it is not a directly threat for the human to be outside the group (most often), but unfortunately we still have it. So, what happens in our bodies? When we stand there, in front of the class, our brain says to us that we are in danger.
So, it sends out adrenalin in our body to help us get out of this situation, either to run away or to fight. What schools does to our brains, after separated us from the group, is saying to the bears “your welcome, just eat this child up”. Not very pedagogic.