Attending meetings, either in person or via conference call is a feature of business life. It can seem as though we spend our working days running from meeting to meeting (and wondering when we’re going to find time to do the work generated in the meeting).
For many, meetings are great opportunities to demonstrated knowledge, confidence, leadership ability and make an impact. For others who find it harder to speak up and share ideas, meetings can be awkward, stressful and create feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, frustration and demotivation. It can be a vicious circle, if you don’t speak up, you may feel even more stressed and pressure to speak up yet it’s harder to do so. Do you want to be confident in meetings?
Here are my three top tips to feel more confident and make more impact in the meetings you attend.
- Find out the objective of the meeting. Why is it happening?
- What’s your personal desired outcome? (Influence the outcome, share information, make a positive impression etc.)
- Take time to review any pre-reads and prepare a few questions.
- Look at the meeting invitation, who else is attending (Names, positions).
- Visualise your performance in the meeting, making a good contribution.
- Do some stretching (power posing) before the meeting to increase your self-confidence and sense of presence.
- Arrive early, get a good position at the meeting table (e.g. not in the corner) and engage with the pre-meeting small talk to build rapport.
- Dehydration and hunger will negatively affect your ability to concentrate and so make sure you have a healthy snack before the meeting and take water with you unless you know it’s provided.
Be Fully Engaged
- Speak up early to get your voice in the room and take away the pressure to say something. Once you’ve spoken it becomes easier to contribute again.
- Be present, an active listener and fully engaged. (Turn off devices if not required).
- Be supportive and encourage other colleagues in the room
- Be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Offer constructive ideas and ask helpful questions e.g. What can we do to be more effective? Is there a different way to look at this? etc.
- Ensure you follow up with action items to establish yourself as dependable and organised.
Test these tips to build your confidence. Like other leadership behaviours, being effective in meetings is a skill which can be developed.
Be Prepared. Be Engaged. Follow Up.
I know from my own experience of being coached and from coaching others that coaching makes a difference. It brings out the best in people and inspires them to act on their potential. The right coach will help you tap into your motivation, tackle challenges, embrace change and transform mindsets.
If you’re interested in finding out more about coaching, contact me and let’s have an exploratory conversation about what you would like to be different in your life in 2019.
I’m a qualified and accredited coach with a successful track record or working around the world with international companies and clients. I coach Face to Face or via Zoom/Skype/Facetime