One reason workers dread meetings is because they don’t know how to talk with confidence and authority. Many find it difficult to speak effectively in meetings, especially if it’s your first time attending one. However, this denies you an opportunity to share your concerns or ideas. To help you overcome your fear of talking in meetings, here are some tips for building your confidence.
Adopt a More Positive Mindset.
If you want to contribute to your team or ensure your presentation is a success, ensure you’re coming to the meeting with a positive mindset. Without this, you won’t have the motivation to change yourself in the first place. For example, instead of thinking you’ll embarrass yourself if you share your thoughts, why not consider what new insights your ideas bring to the table?
Of course, changing your mindset so you can speak effectively in meetings is a long and challenging process. There will be times when you won’t be able to contribute much to the discussion, and that is alright. Changing your mindset for the better isn’t a race, so take it one step at a time.
Come in Prepared.
When you go to the agreed-upon meeting place or zoom meeting, come in prepared. This means knowing the meeting’s agenda and familiarizing yourself with it. Doing this improves your confidence when asked to share your opinion on the topic; and allows you to come up with good questions to ask.
Speaking of asking questions, another method you can do to prepare for the meeting is to rehearse your questions. Try to rehearse with the help of a co-worker or a family member; so you know what you sound like to other people.
Arrive Early for the Meeting.
This should be a given, but with how busy we are today, this is easy to forget. Arriving early for the meeting helps calm down and clear your mind so you can focus on the discussion instead of feeling stressed and haggard. Doing this helps you put your best foot forward and speak effectively in meetings.
Arriving early for an online meeting also has the benefit of helping you familiarize yourself with the controls of the app you’ll use. If you’re feeling up for it, you can also use the extra time to initiate small talk with your co-workers to ease the tension. But if you’re uncomfortable doing so, don’t push yourself too hard.
Try to Speak Early to Conquer Your Fear.
The more you wait for your “golden” moment to talk, the more it will slip away. That’s why it’s best to start talking as early as possible so your voice won’t get drowned by everyone else’s. It can be awkward initially, but this helps build your confidence to speak during meetings.
Speaking early in the meeting enables you to ask questions or share your opinions regarding the meeting’s agenda. If you haven’t got a question yet, or you like the idea presented by one of your co-workers, you can support them instead. Later on, you can add more to it to continue the conversation.
Calm Yourself Before Speaking.
Experiencing the jitters is not uncommon when you’re in a meeting. But letting your anxiety and panic control you will only prevent you from sharing your thoughts or questions with your boss and co-workers. Before you start talking, calm yourself down first and gather your thoughts so you can speak effectively in meetings.
The most common calming method you can use is to simply take deep breaths before speaking. Doing this steadies your breathing and improves your focus, so you can talk clearly and confidently.
Don’t Hog All the Time During the Meeting.
Part of being able to speak effectively in meetings is being concise. Being direct with your questions and thoughts saves your time and that of your boss and co-workers. It gives more time for discussion and for your other co-workers to ask their questions. Doing this ensures everyone gets a chance to voice their ideas and end the meeting in time.
Time to Make Your Voice Be Heard.
Presenting your thoughts and ideas during meetings isn’t easy, particularly if you’re just starting out. But if you follow the tips presented here, you’ll be able to speak effectively in meetings in no time.