Wednesday, September 23, 2015
5 Tips for Boosting Your Confidence in Meetings
Participating in business meetings can be stressful, especially if you're new or discussing challenging topics. However, here are five important ways to be prepared and feel confident in a professional meeting. The more prepared you are, the likelier you are to have a successful experience.
Preview meeting materials.
Look over the agenda, which is usually distributed beforehand, for an idea of what will be covered in the meeting. Do any necessary research to better understand the issues, or meet with those who are knowledgeable to gain additional insight. Going prepared will help you feel more comfortable about speaking up in a meaningful way.
Be a good listener.
Even if you are full of great ideas, be willing to first listen to others at the meeting to get a sense of the tone or direction. Interpret others' viewpoints before deciding when to share yours. Effective listening can lead to a meaningful understanding of relevant issues that will help to put your comments in perspective.
Take a cue.
Find out who the decision makers are and how much weight their views carry. Observe how they interact at meetings, and pick up a few clues from them. Watching what they say and how they say it, as well as how their views are received by others, will help to guide your role in the discussion.
Dress for success.
Try to get an idea of the meeting's dress code. For example, if a VIP will be attending, many employees dress up a bit more with a tie and jacket or a quality business suit. However, if the meeting is more of a workshop or retreat, casual wear may be the norm. Whatever people are wearing, you'll want to fit in, not stand out.
Before an important meeting, be sure to get enough rest the night before. Eat breakfast so your stomach doesn't audibly rumble. Take extra efforts with grooming tasks to look your best. When you feel as though you look good, your image will ooze confidence, and that is always an attention grabber at a meeting. It will also add poise to your image and make your comments more compelling.
When you plan ahead for an upcoming meeting, you can walk in ready to go. Those pre-meeting jitters will disappear, and you will be eager to share your opinion. Following steps like these is relatively easy and may yield impressive results.
Jonah Engler is a financial expert from NYC.