Ways To Boost Confidence Before A Meeting
No matter how much you actually prepare for a big…presentation, public speech, meeting, or interview…nothing quite prepares you for those few minutes immediately preceding the big event. You can study, rehearse in front of the mirror, practice in front of friends, do your research, and make your plans, but that’s all about the content of this meeting, interview, or presentation. What about the way you present it? That’s not so cut and dry. That falls on your mental and emotional state. All of your planning, researching, and rehearsing go to waste if you aren’t in a good state of mind when you walk in there. Furthermore, a good state of mind can even compensate for a little lack of preparation (but, do prepare—that was just a comment on the power of positive thinking). So here are ways to boost your confidence before an important meeting.
Talk to your biggest cheerleader
You know who that is. Maybe it’s your boyfriend, husband, best friend, mother, or sister. This person has always been in awe of you and all that you do and is quick to say so. You always feel invincible after talking to this loved one. Give her or him a quick call and say you need an ego boost.
Open with a joke
Everyone in the room feels more at ease, and confident in your ability to nail this, after laughing. Laughter has a way of connecting everyone and easing the tension. If you can scope out the meeting space before the actual meeting, prepare a little joke to make.
Remember your last triumph
Think about your last major triumph. Really remember what you were like when you carried it out. Get back in that state of mind—you were calm, collected, confident, and certain in your abilities. Take yourself back to that time. Really visualize the details and remember the sounds and sensations.
If I recommend meditation too often, I don’t apologize—it is seriously one of the most versatile tools. When you meditate, the breath work alone will calm your body and ease your nerves. The mental part of it will get you in touch with your true self—what matters to you and what you’re about—which will really send you in there with a clear head.
See it going well
Try some visualization exercises. Close your eyes and see yourself landing this thing. Hear the words you’ll say. See the approving, positive expressions on everyone’s faces. Hear the affirming words others will say. Visualize it in such detail, it’s as if it’s already happened.
Remember this is just a blip in time
It could actually help you to remember how not important this is. Look, sure, it matters to you. It could make your life on this earth a little better. But, like they say, we’re all just bags of bones riding a flaming ball flying through the universe. Promotions, recognition, and accolades are all nice but they aren’t really real. They aren’t tangible things. Your loved ones, your body, your privilege to breathe and walk the earth are the real tangible things. You have those, so you’ve already won.
Do something kind for someone
It’s amazing how, if we do a total 180 on our perspective and think of others rather than ourselves, we feel better about ourselves. Consider doing something kind for someone else before this meeting. Bring lunch to a busy mom friend who barely enjoys a nice meal anymore. Or, bring supplies to a homeless community.
Work out before
It can be a good idea to get some of that nervous energy out of your body with an intense workout. Your muscles will be loose, and you’ll be too tired to be anxious.
Recall all your preparation
Think about all the preparation you’ve done. In the minutes before an important meeting, it can feel like you suddenly know nothing. So pause, and really think back on every single step you’ve taken to prepare for this. You got this. It’s in your bones. You put it in your bones with all your prep work.
Wear your happy/comfortable outfit
Don’t necessarily focus on looking perfect or looking the way you think one should look for this. The most important thing is that you wear something you feel most yourself in. It will put you in touch with your favorite traits that you’d like to present in this meeting. Your comfort level will be what people remember more than whether or not you wore that structured, designer dress.
Know people forget the flops
Just so you know, people only really remember when someone knocks it out of the park. They tend to forget about flops within an hour after the event. You know this is true, since, if you think about it, you probably only really remember the best concerts, shows, or lectures you’ve been to. You’ve been to mediocre ones but, you can’t really remember them. So, if you flop, nobody will remember it. Which should give you the confidence to not flop.
Do something else you’re good at
It would benefit you to do something else you’re good at right before this meeting. Whether that’s playing an instrument, playing a sport, painting, or something else you thrive in. It puts you in a headspace of feeling competent.
Stand up straight
Your body language can either help or hurt your career. You just have to be more in-tune with it. Stand in front of a mirror directly before this meeting. Find the body language that makes you look most relaxed and confident.
Prepare to speak slowly
Remind yourself that there’s no rush. There’s no need to go quickly. There’s no benefit to speeding through this thing. You can take your time. In fact, people want you to take your time. Speaking slowly has a way of calming our body and keeping our heads clear.
The more informed you are, the calmer you’ll feel. Study up on everyone who will be there. Visit the location of the presentation in advance, so you already become comfortable with the space. Have an answer to any question that may come up, and a diplomatic way to respond to questions to which you don’t have an answer.