They say a lot of people have a great fear of public speaking. Yet everywhere you look someone is giving a speech, and a lot of these speakers are boring as hell and don't know what they're talking about. In academia, speeches are often referred to as "talks" or "presentations." If you think that attending an academic presentation is bad, try listening to some political hack reveal how he or she will save the world. And perhaps even worse is sitting in a bookstore listening to an author read passages from his newest novel. What idiot came up with the idea of the public book reading. In a perfect world, everyone would suffer from a debilitating fear of public speaking. The silence would be golden.