23 February 2024
The importance of managing the fear of failure
Learn how to turn failure into an impetus for personal growth
Does speaking in public also cause you shyness and cold sweats? Well, to understand this reaction, let’s start at the beginning by answering the following question: why does it cost us so much to communicate with a large group of people when we are used to interacting every day? As you know, the brain is the most complex organ of the human being and has not been fully explored, so many of its mechanisms are still unknown.
When we prepare to speak in public, the brain activates the amygdala, responsible for emotional responses, triggering the activation of the autonomic nervous system. This causes an increase in heart rate, breathing, and sweating. At the same time, the prefrontal cortex is activated to plan speech, but anxiety can make it difficult to clarify thoughts. For its part, the anterior cingulate cortex, linked to attention and error detection, can also be activated, increasing concern about making mistakes.
In short: this complex of brain interactions, together with the release of stress hormones, contribute to the state of nervousness and anxiety when speaking in public, generating physiological and emotional responses that make us so nervous.
Amygdala: This brain region, associated with emotions and responses to fear, is activated when perceiving the situation as threatening. The amygdala triggers the “fight or flight” response, causing nervousness and anxiety.
Prefrontal cortex: The part of the brain responsible for reasoning and decision-making, such as speech planning, is activated. However, when anxiety is high, it can make it difficult to think clearly and logically.
Autonomic nervous system: An activation of the autonomic nervous system occurs, resulting in increased heart rate, breathing, and sweating. This physiological response is part of the body’s preparation to face a stressful situation.
Anterior cingulate cortex: This brain area related to attention and error detection can activate, increasing worry about making mistakes or being judged negatively by the public.
Now that you know that all the nerves you suffer just thinking about speaking in front of a group of people are the result of your neural connections and automatic cognitive patterns, we are going to give you ten tips that you can control to successfully give your speech. Aim!
Preparation and Practice: Prepare your speech or presentation in advance and practice several times in front of the mirror, friends or family to gain confidence and fluency.
Know your audience: Research your audience to tailor your speech to their interests and needs, which will help you feel more connected to them.
Breathing and relaxation: Before speaking, practice deep breathing techniques to relax your body and reduce anxiety.
Start confidently: Start your presentation with a strong introduction that builds confidence and captures your audience’s attention.
Eye Contact: Make eye contact with different people in the audience to create a closer connection and convey trust.
Speak naturally: avoid reading your speech in a monotonous manner. Speak naturally and use gestures and facial expressions to emphasize key points.
Manage your nerves: if you feel nervous, don’t hide them. Admit that you are nervous, this can reduce the pressure on you and the audience.
Control the pace: speak at an appropriate pace, avoiding speaking too quickly. Short pauses can help you maintain control and emphasize certain points.
Practice the power of smiling: smile and show enthusiasm. A positive attitude can infect the audience and reduce tension.
Accept mistakes: If you make a mistake, don’t hold back or apologize excessively. Continue with confidence, correcting if necessary, and move forward.
We hope we have helped you break down your barriers and express yourself freely and fluently. If you want to expand your knowledge about this and many other areas related to professional development, communication and business, we are waiting for you at Educa.Pro!