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Fear and Public Speaking

The Importance of Feeling Fear in High-Stakes Communications

As the world continues to adapt to remote work, it's become evident that many individuals have developed a sense of comfort and security in their virtual communication skills. While this can be seen as a positive, it's crucial to remember that high-stakes communication events should not be taken lightly, even if they take place from the comfort of our homes.

It's a well-known fact that public speaking is one of the biggest fears for many individuals, ranking even higher than death or the dentist. This fear often drives individuals to seek out communication and presentation coaches, as they understand the importance of delivering a successful high-stakes communication. The pain of potential failure motivates individuals to put in the necessary effort to ensure success.

However, with the shift towards remote work, the familiar setting of our homes has dulled the fear of failure. While comfort is important, it's important to remember that fear often drives us to be better, to take opportunities more seriously and to ensure that our performance is the best it can be. With virtual communication, the stakes are just as high, and the audience is more attentive, demanding and judgmental than ever before.

Feeling fear and pain is an essential aspect of our well-being, and the same holds true for high-stakes communication events. The nervous energy or "butterflies" that one feels before a big presentation is often a subset of fear and is actually a good thing. Champion athletes often talk about how crucial nervousness is to achieve peak performance. As the famous speaker, Bert Decker says, "The goal is to get them to fly into formation."

If you're one of the individuals who doesn't feel fear during high-stakes communications, it's important to exercise caution. Don't let comfort lead to a subpar performance as there are still individuals who need to be inspired and influenced by your leadership. Ensure that you put your best foot forward every time.

In conclusion, feeling fear and nervousness during high-stakes communications is a good thing and should not be ignored. It drives us to perform better and to take the opportunity seriously. As we move forward in this new world of remote work, it's crucial to remember the importance of feeling fear and to put in the necessary effort to ensure that every virtual communication event is a success.

Mark Westbrook - Public Speaking Coach


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