Turns out it’s not that unusual. That jittery, nervous feeling one gets while entering a boardroom. You look around at all the smart, confident people, pen and book in readiness, with serious expressions, all set to dive into the topic at hand. While you scurry over to a corner seat and wish the room envelope you.
The room settles into silence and you can hear your heart beating; hoping nobody notices your heavy breathing. You avoid all eye contact in the hope it doesn’t draw any attention towards you. Good god, its nerve wracking! Why can’t everything be discussed and sorted over emails and phone calls?
As the boss goes from person to person in a circle, taking inputs from everyone; your blood pressure sky-rockets to a deafening degree when the person next to you gets his turn to speak. You blank out and have NO idea what you are going to say when it’s your turn. It’s not a very comfortable place to be and the sooner you learn the importance of meetings, the better.
- For the company, the advantages lie in its directness. It’s face to face and excellent to thrash out ideas and build new ones
- And for you, it’s an excellent platform for exposure to your intelligence in front of your seniors and colleagues.
There are two main points which can help you overcome your fear of meetings:
Tips to Conquer Fear of Meetings:
1. Coming Prepared:
Yes, it’s not an exam, but you need to come in prepared nonetheless. The good part here is that you won’t be asked anything ‘out of the syllabus’. The important thing is that you know your job. And you know it inside out. Just concentrate on that. The rest will be easy. Nobody in the meeting room is there to chuckle if you stumble.Read up on minutes of the previous meeting, ask the coordinator if you need to come prepared with any specific documents and jot down any specific highlights of your work just in case before you enter the meeting room.
2. Staying Focused:
Once you are mentally prepared, the next critical step is to remain focused on the meeting. Hear… no listen to others talk and understand what’s happening. If you keep looking inward at how nervous you are, you will not take anything away from the meeting. Fear is one thing, but not trying to overcome it is another.
Breathe, relax and go with the flow. You might just waste a whole lot of time fretting unnecessarily. Don’t think of it as an exercise to impress. You are a professional doing something that’s part of your job. When the time comes to speak, be attentive and stick to what you know.
Many employees use meeting rooms to leverage their image in front of seniors. They get away looking efficient with their gift of confident yapping. It’s a great platform to get noticed or you may forever remain the ‘behind the scenes’ kind of person. Develop your confidence when attending a meeting.