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Effective ways to beat meeting nerves


Meeting nerves are an issue for many people in professional work settings. Whereas you may be a confident person around your friends and family, formal and professional speeches, and presentations in front of a crowd may quell any confidence you have. However, if you want a meeting to go well, be it a monthly meeting or introducing yourself to new employees, you will want to exude as much poise and self-assurance as possible.

By considering the following effective ways to beat meeting nerves, soon enough you can approach meetings with courage rather than anxiety.

Be the first to speak

One problem many people have that amplifies their meeting nerves, is not taking the first step to even speak. If you are witnessing a presentation take the leap and be the first to ask a question or comment on the topic presented rather than sitting back in silence. Similarly, if you are directing the meeting don’t allow people to speak before you. Assert confidence and leadership by beginning the meeting yourself, which will help your confidence grow even more over time.

Do adequate research prior

Don’t go into a meeting unprepared, whether you are watching or leading the presentation. Read the brief multiple times over to make sure you fully understand every topic that will be discussed. If you come across something you aren’t familiar with you will then have the time to research into it.

Don’t bluff your way through a meeting as this is often noticeable by your fellow colleagues, which could bring down your confidence even more. Also, if you lead a meeting uninformed then you can leave your audience confused, whereas if you are prepared, you will have more conviction in what you’re saying, portraying confidence, and presenting a more enjoyable meeting for those present.

Convert nervous energy into enthusiasm

Listen to music before a meeting to help get your mind in the right place. Upbeat music can help relieve you of any nerves and get you in an enthusiastic mood, ready for any public speaking. Studies have shown that an enthusiastic speech is even preferable and more successful over an eloquent one. People will respond differently to your speech or presentation if you present it with excitement, giving you a boost in confidence not only in that meeting but many more to come.

Rehearse and visualise

Practice a mock meeting in the run up to the actual thing. By visualising and rehearsing you can train yourself to feel confident for the upcoming meeting. Read your intended speech aloud and try to memorise as much as possible so you aren’t shuffling paper and stuttering in the real thing. Try and do this a couple of days before and then refresh your memory in the hours leading up the meeting, reading over paragraphs and bullet points.

Take notes from other meetings

When observing other people in meetings make notes – mental or physical – of how people present and respond to presentations and speeches. This will help you understand how people react to the way people speak; their tone, formality, and expressions. This will not only provide help for you to gain confidence when presenting your own speech but also help you interact more during other people’s presentations, through asking questions or making comments that you would have been too scared to say before.

Tips to take away

Firstly, hydrate yourself properly so you feel energised for your speech and don’t suffer from dry mouth. Secondly, if you are still feeling jittery before the meeting take a few minutes to run through some deep breathing exercises to calm you down.

Lastly, exude energy and enthusiasm to trick your mind into feeling confident and excited about the meeting and any speeches you must make.

One study suggests that being afraid of public speaking can have a 10% impairment on your wages, perhaps by preventing you from gaining promotions, winning clients or confidently asking for pay increases that really you should be entitled to. But by taking into consideration these effective ways to beat meeting nerves you can present and contribute in future meetings and take your career to new levels.

About Sammy Birch

Sammy Birch is a Marketing Executive at Cheshire Cat Marketing and creates compelling content for a variety of sectors and industries. Cheshire Cat Marketing is a marketing agency designed for SME’s & Start-Ups with big dreams but small budgets, to help them create new business opportunities. Website: Twitter:

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