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Should In-Class Presentations Be Mandatory? Students Debate on Twitter

By guest blogger Sasha Jones 

"Stop forcing students to present in front of the class and give them a choice not to," wrote Twitter user leen, who notes in an online bio she is 15 years old. The tweet sparked a debate on in-class presentations and anxiety, and has so far garnered over 130,000 retweets and 400,000 likes. 

The tweets included screenshots of messages from other students who said they get anxiety about in-class presentations. One screenshot said, "Whenever we had a presentation coming up I would get no sleep the night before. I would be shaking the entire day. Eventually I just stopped going to school when we had them."

The post also received plenty of criticism from users who argued that in-class presentations are simply a part of school, and necessary practice for life post-graduation. Others said that the only way to overcome such anxiety is through exposure. 

Oral communication is one of the most prioritized workplace skills, found a recent survey by the Association of American Colleges & Universities. Eighty percent of company executives and 90 percent of hiring managers said that it is a very important skill for recent college graduates looking for jobs.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 32 percent of adolescents ages 13-18 have had any anxiety disorder in their life. Of those, an estimated 8.3 percent have had severe impairment as a result.

NIMH's definition of any anxiety disorder includes panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and separation anxiety disorder.

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