Meetings can be daunting – whether internal, with long-standing clients or with potential new ones. Meetings push you to prepare and make a lasting impression, all while having conviction. This is no easy task though. Meetings, similar to interviews, can be nerve-racking. As a former HR professional, I conducted countless interviews both over the phone and in person. With that experience, I’ve gathered some techniques for calming those pre-discussion nerves. 

Below are four tips to ensure a productive, stress-free conversation between all parties involved.

Do your research

Be prepared. There’s nothing worse than being caught off guard or unable to answer a question because you didn’t do your homework. Take a quick 20 minutes to gather the necessary information by taking notes and making an agenda. It’s always best to recite the information you have by mouth as well. Put what you know into your own words and in a way that makes the most sense to you.

Ask Questions

In addition to research, preparing questions ahead of time is beneficial for both parties involved. From writing down clarifying questions to in-depth inquiries that prompt deeper discussion, no question is a bad one. In fact, asking questions can prove that you’ve done your homework and are thinking two steps ahead. Furthermore, questions are a great sign of engagement guaranteed to impress!

Make eye contact

Try your best to look directly at the person you’re talking to. Careful though – that doesn’t mean stare. Eye contact acknowledges that you are engaged in both the conversation and what the other party has to say. Whether you’re doing the talking or listening, eye contact ensures that the voice speaking is being heard.

Be Confident!

Turn those nerves into words! Believe in what you’re saying and own it. Self-talk is a great way to get those positive juices flowing as well as striking the power pose. Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to be nervous and feel the adrenaline rush. But always remember that having confidence in yourself goes a long way and is easily noticeable to others.

Ta-da! With these four tips now in mind, you are going to rock the next meeting. Sit up, put your shoulders back, and own that room. There’s no meeting like an office meeting. 😉