Your heart’s literally beating out of your chest.
You’ve got sweaty palms, and an extremely dry mouth
You would do anything but have to speak up in just a few seconds…..
We all know the feeling. Even the most proficient speakers in the world have all felt the fear at some point.
And whilst it might not go away completely, there are some steps you can take to help you have the courage and confidence to speak up in a meeting. Or at least, realise that how you may be feeling on the inside, isn’t what you are projecting on the outside!
Prep Prep Prep!
If you can prepare ahead of the meeting, then you absolutely should!
Being confident that you have prior knowledge around the potential content/topic to be discussed means you are already half way there.
Honestly, the difference I’ve felt going into meetings when I’ve prepped vs when I’ve not has been huge.
Make a few key notes. Clear bullet points on a single sheet of paper means you will avoid getting flustered through reams of paper in front of you, and again helps to set yourself up for a confident contribution during the meeting!
Visualise a Positive Outcome
This may sound a bit strange if you’ve never done it before, but give it a go.
You can do this a couple of ways –
- Imagine yourself after the meeting, and then say to yourself (out loud if possible) – “I’m really thankful that the meeting went really well and that I made some really valid points that were well received, and I spoke with confidence and enthusiasm. I feel fantastic coming out of that meeting”
- Or you can imagine yourself ahead of the meeting and give yourself a talking to “Cmon Becca you are going to be great in this meeting – you are going speak with confidence and will feel energised when you’re walking out of the meeting.”
This way you are setting yourself up for a positive outcome.
In the Meeting
Take take some deep breaths and SLOW DOWN – if you were to video yourself practising (which is not a bad idea either – depending how important the meeting is) then you would be really surprised how much calmer you come across than you actually feel inside. By just slowing down and taking a pause, which may feel like a lifetime, is in fact a really helpful way of ensuring you’re in control when you’re speaking and just taking your time.
Remember that people are kind. Everyone is not out to get you, and they will actually be wanting you to speak well. Making eye contact with people in the room that you know can actually help reassure you.
After the Meeting
YOU will feel AMAZING after you’ve done it! The feeling of achievement for having spoken up when you wouldn’t normally will give you such a rush.
Even if you question what you said, or how you said it, at least you raised your hand and said SOMETHING which is more than you’d done yesterday!
ARE YOU READY TO PUSH YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
I would love to hear any other tips people have in helping to reduce nerves ahead of their meetings.
If you do use any of the above, then please do get in touch and share your experiences with me email@example.com or click on My Profile for more info about what it might be like to work with me!