If you are heading into a meeting having to do with your work, you might be nervous if you aren’t very experienced in this area. The concept of business meetings seems a little nerve-wracking, especially if an important client will be attending, or someone within your company who potentially has a powerful influence over your career. Part of getting better at this sort of thing is doing it more often. Once you are more experienced, you will get used to the butterflies in your stomach. In the meantime, here are five ways that you can be sure to make an impression that’s positive as well as professional.
Look the Part
If you know that you have an important meeting that day, groom yourself carefully and wear an outfit that flatters your best features. It’s not just about looking your best. If you are wearing clothes that make you feel the most confident, then you’ll feel more up to the challenge. You can find a bathroom a few minutes beforehand and look yourself over to make sure that not a hair is out of place. Then take a few deep breaths and get ready to do what needs to be done.
Be Confident and Sincere
You may not be able to feel confident going into an important meeting if it’s not the sort of thing that you often do. However, no one will ever know anything about what you’re thinking and feeling other than what you let on. Because of that, if you project an aura of confidence, that is just as vital as if you felt that way. It’s a “fake it till you make it” type of scenario. At the same time, try to be natural and sincere in what you are saying.
Don’t be Too Stiff
Stiffness and formality don’t necessarily translate well in these sorts of situations. You don’t want to make light of the occasion, but at the same time, you want to humanize it. Although the presentation you are giving or what you have to contribute to the conversation might be serious, try to smile when appropriate and use body language that says you are comfortable with what is happening. Again, all anyone else will know about what you are feeling is what you are showing and telling them with your face and body.
Make Your Presentation Visually Interesting
If you have something to present, try to dress it up so that it does not completely bore the client, or whoever else will be in attendance. You can turn your ideas into visuals with Beautiful.AI or another service. No one wants to look at boring analytics reports or spreadsheets. If there is any way to have interesting visual aids to go along with what you are saying, take advantage of it.
You are probably going into the meeting with plenty to say, but be ready to listen as well. You don’t know exactly what the others in attendance are going to tell you in response to your reports, ideas, or proposals. Go into it with some flexibility. If you had a position in mind, but what you hear makes it necessary to adjust your thinking on the fly, be ready to do so. Don’t be married to any single notion.
The more meetings you attend in your professional life, the better you will get at them, and the easier they will become. Think of them as learning experiences. Each time you will get a little better at public speaking, and you might even come to enjoy it in time.