Not everyone is a massive fan of meetings of presentations in the office, right? But what happens when you’re thrust into the driver’s seat and have to deal with people in face-to-face meeting despite your sense of stage fright?
From the widespread phobia of public speaking to the fact that many office workers feel uncomfortable speaking with higher-ups, massive meetings and presentations can be absolutely nerve-wracking. That said, they’re also the nature of the beast for those who want to rise in the ranks within their respective companies.
If you can master the art of the meeting, you’ll be poised for great things. But what do you need to be able to totally slay your presentations time and time again? The following four prep tips can help you get there without pulling your hair out.
Understand Your Expectations
As noted in this guide to surviving an SOC audit by Reciprocity Labs, one of the keys to dealing with any high-pressure situation at work is knowing what you’re getting into.
Likewise, don’t assume that you necessarily need to reinvent the wheel when you’re running your meeting. Talk to others you’ve hosted or perhaps even have their own templates to help you get through it – don’t assume you need to come up with a presentation from scratch just because it’s your first time playing host.
Learn to Relax
Although it may be easier said than done, you have to learn not to be a nervous wreck if you want to get through your next meeting.
As a matter of perspective, remember that everyone has to start somewhere and that botching a few lines of your presentation isn’t the absolute end of the world. On the day of your big meeting, consider some physical techniques to relax at work such as deep breathing to keep yourself cool and collected.
Bring an Agenda to the Table
Organization is key to any successful meeting, and you should likewise have a blueprint prepared prior to wrangling your team together.
Rather than randomly bouncing from Point A to Point B, a suggested agenda helps everyone involved stay on track and cuts down on any potential surprise questions or tangents. As an added bonus, having others agree on your agenda puts you in control of the conversation, ultimately.
Step Up Your Presentation Skills
Arguably one of the best ways to “wow” a crowd and win people over during a meeting is flawless presentation skills. While you certainly won’t be at that level as a first-timer, practicing your presentation ahead of time gives you an edge over trying to do it cold.
Going over notes with your spouse or practicing in front of your mirror is totally fair game if you want to get more comfortable with your speaking skills, for example.
And don’t worry about choreographing everything you’re going to say. After all, you’re not an actor: scripting too much of your presentation could actually work against as you as you worry about whether or not you said the “right” thing.
There’s going to come a time when you’ll be tasked with running a meeting or major presentation. The question remains: will you be ready for it? With these tips handy, doing so will seem much less daunting.