Your employees look up to you for training and guidance, so you’re likely leading meetings. Even though you might love running your company, public speaking fears could make you nervous about standing in front of everyone.
Boost your confidence before stepping into the boardroom by reading these tips about overcoming anxiety.
Boosting Your Confidence Before a Big Meeting
1. Write Your Presentation Out
You may not have much confidence in your public speaking skills because you’re nervous about saying the wrong thing. It’s a common mistake people make in meetings and conversations every day. Writing your presentation line by line could prevent that problem in the boardroom.
Research shows writing things down by hand can help you memorize them for longer than just typing them. If you see and read your presentation, you’re more likely to remember it during your business meeting and lead the group without fear.
2. Repeat an Encouraging Mantra
Mantras are short statements of encouragement. Also known as positive affirmations, they can change your mindset into one that’s more confident.
Pick a few mantras or quotes from a famous business coach or advisor that reflect how you’d like to grow. For example, Henry Ford once said, “There is no failure except failure to serve one’s purpose.”
Repeat your mantras daily and stick them on notes around your monitor so they’re always present in your mind.
3. Create an Agenda
Meeting agendas help people follow along with presentations. They’re also helpful tools for presenters because you’ll always know what’s coming next. Holding a copy of your agenda while you speak may reduce your fears of getting lost or forgetting parts of your meeting.
4. Practise in New Places
You don’t have to wait until everyone leaves work to practise your presentation in your office. You could rehearse your presentation in your mind while freestyle swimming at your gym’s pool or mowing the lawn. It’s always a good time to practise — you just have to get creative to find more time before your big meeting begins.
If you’re looking for another opportunity to refine your presentation skills, why not utilize your commuting time? Consider listening to TED Talks on your way to work or during lunch breaks. Not only will you gain inspiration and insights, but you can also observe different speaking styles and techniques to enhance your own skills by listening about how to write a ted talk script.
5. Reflect on Prior Successes
Focusing on past mistakes is easy, so prioritise your successes instead. Think about the times you gave great grade school presentations or succeeded in a leadership role in previous jobs. You’ll boost your confidence by remembering when you exceeded expectations and carry that confidence into your meeting.
6. Thank Your Anxiety and Release It
Your mind may create anxiety when it senses a threat because it wants you to know of potential dangers. Consider if your anxiety is your brain trying to protect you. If that feels true, thank it for the help, but remind your brain that you’ve got this. The anxiety can take a backseat for now.
Accepting your feelings is part of retraining negative thought cycles in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). If this technique is effective for your meeting, attending sessions with a CBT therapist could help you retrain other neural pathways hindering your confidence.
7. Ask for Questions
At the end of your meeting, ask if anyone has questions about your presentation. The move projects confidence that you have in-depth knowledge about your topic. When you get a question you can’t answer, let that person know you’ll research it and get back to them later. It retains your leadership role and confidence while encouraging team-building communication skills.
8. Schedule an Easy Day
Your anxiety might linger even after successful meetings. Learning from and overcoming it is easier when it dissipates after your workday ends. Recover from the anxiety build-up by giving yourself an easy afternoon and evening.
Plan self-care activities to reduce lingering anxiety, like expressing yourself with a creative craft or looking at the stars. Schedule a phone call with your friend for the drive home or order dinner from your favourite restaurant so you don’t have to cook.
If your only responsibility is to relax, your nerves won’t linger. That gives you emotional space to reflect comfortably and learn from any potential mistakes you made during the meeting. You could even use your free time to journal about the experience so you can learn from your rewritten account.
Boost Your Confidence
Try a few of these strategies to boost your confidence before a big meeting. No matter what you’re presenting or how many people will attend, you can feel empowered before walking into the room. Practise tips like repeating mantras and rehearsing the presentation in the weeks leading up to your big day. You’ll build the self-esteem you need to conquer any meeting.