Public speaking is the most terrifying business activity for many British bosses, a study has found.
According to research published by Aziz Corporation, 71 per cent of executives find the prospect of addressing a large conference daunting, whereas other business tasks, such as preparing plans, are considered routine.
The survey of UK business leaders also found that four-fifths of respondents are similarly concerned about carrying out a television interview, whereas 38 per cent said they find reviewing financial data difficult.
Commenting on the findings, Aziz chairman Professor Khalid Aziz said many leaders fear for their reputation when speaking publicly and thus prefer "behind-the-scenes number crunching".
Listening ability provided additional concern with 69 per cent admitting they spend at least part of their time thinking about whether or not they are attracted to the speaker or a fellow member of the audience.
"Whilst the audience might be more inclined to pay attention if the speaker is attractive, it does not necessarily follow that they will thinking about what the speaker is saying," Professor Aziz added.
Aziz offers employees tailor-made programs to coach individuals and groups to improve spoken communication skills.