Meetings can be very daunting regardless of your position within a company, especially if you feel nervouse speaking in front of groups of people. Here’s our fool proof guide to making sure you come across the way you want to.
Prepare As Much As You Can – As your mother would say, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. You know what the meeting is in regards to, and even though meetings can go off track a bit, you know roughly what will be covered. Sit down and think about what you want to accomplish in the meeting and how you want to do this. How do you want to come across? What ideas do you want to communicate and what is the best way to do this?
Shut out the negativity – Sometimes there’s a little voice in your head that tells you so sit down and shut up for fear that you might look silly. Ignore this voice completely and speak up, especially if you know that you’re idea is good. It can be difficult to put yourself out there in front of larger groups, but have confidence in yourself and don’t be afraid to contribute.
Speak as though you’re reading the news – It sounds silly but it works wonderfully. News readers speak slowly, clearly and with confidence. They don’t punctuate any sentences with “umm” or “errr” or “ahhhhh.” Keep this in the fornt of your mind while speaking and you will com across, exactly how you want to.
Body Language – Communicate with your body as much as you can, sit up straight, have an open posture and feel free to gesture and emphasise with your hands. Sitting up straight will automatically make you feel more confident and this will come across while you’re conveying your ideas.
Be graceful when interrupted – If someone interrupts you, althought you may find it extremely irritating, don’t let it show. Resist the urge to roll your eyes or cut them off mid-sentence. Let them finish whatever point it is they’re making and address it accordingly. Then continue explaining the point you were making previously.