Standing up in front of the class

I've noticed that our management often fares poorly in the public speaking stakes in contrast to visitors from the US. I was discussing this with a work colleague who has extensive experience in sales, both here and in the USA. Daniel believes that the Americans tend to be more confident with public speaking because they are forced to do so from a young age. In Australia we tend to submit written reports at school and university, whereas in the US schools oral reports are the norm.

That got me thinking. Many of our television advertisements (eg Colgate toothpaste, the Telstra Great Wall of China/Nasi Goreng ads) feature young primary school kids standing up in front of the class to give a talk. Yet I cannot remember ever doing the same in my early primary school years. I suspect the ads are not representative of Australia, but are clones of American concepts. Cultural imperialism again!