Regardless of what business you’re in, conducting a meeting is bound to be part of your marketing process.
Whether you are meeting a new client, pitching an idea to a new investor, or conducting an interview, you will be on your own, selling your business.
The vast majority of people fall into one of two camps in these situations:
- They thrive on it and relish the challenge, or
- They’d much rather find a dark cupboard somewhere and hide
If you are in the second group, how can you overcome your nerves?
You could try hypnotism, or you could just act.
No, I haven’t just made that up. It’s something I was first introduced to at a course I recently attended run by Andy Maslen:
Imposter syndrome…is a psychological phenomenon in which competent people find it impossible to believe in their own competence.
Although anyone can experience it, it’s especially true of women.
Picture this – you’re in a meeting, you’re answering questions competently, your audience is nodding in an encouraging way, they’re sold on what you’re telling them and yet, deep down, you feel like a fraud, just waiting for them to see through you.
If you have those feelings, there’s one sure fire way of getting over them (or at least keeping them under control)…
And the winner is…
It’s time for your Academy Award winning performance.
That’s right – if you act in a confident manner, you’ll come across as being confident. Deliver your pitch with conviction and you’ll be believed.
But if you stand there dithering, fidgeting and stumbling, no one is going to take you seriously.
So, what can you do to create an air of confidence?
- Prepare for your meeting, don’t try to wing it
- Practice your pitch in front of the mirror
- Dress to impress
- Visualise a successful presentation or outcome
- Don’t make it up – if you’re not sure or don’t have an immediate answer, tell them you’ll find our and get back to them (just make sure you do)
And then, give the performance of your life.
You can be confident if you stand tall and deliver your well-rehearsed pitch. No one in that room (apart from you) is going to know how many hours you’ve spent in front of the mirror practicing your delivery.
So, when the time comes for your next meeting, presentation or pitch, if you can’t be yourself, be someone else – the confident, smart and competent you.
Over to you
Has this struck a chord with you?
How do you prepare for meetings?
Do you have any special rituals that get you through?
Leave a comment below and share them with us.