How To De-Stress Before A Big Meeting

by Simona Terron
It’s spring cleaning time with March 20th being the first day of spring. Apart from the obvious and furious effort to clean up of your spice rack, your linen closet, and your handbag, consider this as the perfect time to do some emotional workplace overhaul as well.

Use National Cleaning Week (that is celebrated in the week of March 24) as an opportunity to rid yourself of old work habits that are unproductive and make way for a new approach. We spend almost half of our waking hours at work; many of those hours are spent in meetings. This year, let's do a little spring cleaning of our work environment and refresh the way we conduct them.

The best way to crack an important presentation or get your game face on before a big meeting is to stay calm. But that’s easier said than done with performance anxiety and public speaking nerves combining to give you the jitters.

We rounded up a few helpful tips to assist you in making a smooth entrance and an impactful presentation so that you can walk away knowing that you did a fantastic job impressing your colleagues and bosses.

Here are 4 tips to help you de-stress before a meeting, so that you can WOW a crowd:
  1. Create A Watertight Plan: It really pays off to think ahead and anticipate what kinds of questions will be thrown at you. Do your homework so that you can recall important facts, figures, and statistics at the very second you are required to. Think about what would be needed to make the other attendees more comfortable, printouts of the agenda or important points that will discussed, a flow chart on the board that you can highlight in order to illustrate your points, or even little notepads for meeting members to jot down their thoughts during your presentation. Ensure there are enough breaks so that your audience doesn’t get tired and provide refreshments, however light, for them to enjoy.
  2. Have A Clear Purpose In Mind: Everyone is busy and no one likes feeling as though their time is being wasted, so don’t even think of conducting a meeting without having a crystal clear agenda on hand. And that’s not enough either, remember to wrap up the meeting by reiterating all the points that have been discussed as a sort of closure. Giving all participants explicit action points and takeaways will make them feel like they’ve been part of a process that has a concrete outcome and they have specific goals to attain post meeting. Forbes’ contributor Lisa Quast says not being prepared and wasting everyone’s time is the easiest way to lose respect.
  3. Keep Things In Perspective: Stressing before a meeting is inevitable if you feel that it’s the most important thing in the world. Cut yourself some slack, and remind yourself that it’s important, yes, but this is not the last opportunity you will ever have to make a good impression. This should ease up your anxiety and help you project a positive attitude. Experts at the Mayo clinic advise that it’s good to get another point of view if you find yourself focusing too sharply on the success of this one event.
  4. Follow Up Not Long After: The meeting was great, everything went smoothly and you feel like you did a good job. Don’t leave it at that. The true success of a meeting is when the points discussed are brought to fruition. Make a note to follow up with key participants either through email, a text, or a call. Schedule a reminder follow up as well with enough time in between so you don’t come across as hounding them. Paul Axtell, corporate trainer says this will help make better use of everybody’s time in an article in the Harvard Business Review.
Being a good employee and a potential leader requires you to be the best at what you do. Constantly improving yourself will help you realize your true potential.
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