We’ve all been there: stuck in a big meeting knowing you’re going to be asked about the last week’s figures, or at a lunch with not only your manager but your manager’s manager. You want to show that you’re confident and in control (even if you’re feeling less-than). Career Girl Daily’s easiest ways to communicate this are:
Maintain eye contact.
Don’t look away because you’re nervous; holding someone’s gaze communicates that you see them as an equal, and you’re comfortable speaking with them (even if it’s someone intimidating). Make sure that you’re not looking down at the floor when you’re speaking and find people’s eyes around the table.
Sit up straight.
Don’t slouch! Square your shoulders and lift your chin to show you’re engaged. If this is difficult, try leaning back slightly in your chair. Be careful with this, though; it’s important you don’t look like you’re relaxing!
Picking at your sweater, nail-biting, playing with jewellery—STOP IT! You’re putting your nerves on display.
Strike a pose.
Power pose, that is. Take a minute to power pose in the bathroom if you can’t in the meeting itself; research says that doing these for a few minutes beforehand will make you feel more confident!
Getting nervous and speeding up speech can sometimes go hand in hand. Try to pace yourself, and don’t try to say too much too fast. Rambling is a surefire giveaway that you’re no comfortable.
Sometimes the best way to relax is to feel you’re among friends. Tell a coworker how much you enjoyed their presentation, the funny clip they sent around, or their new idea. Remember, everyone gets nervous—doing this not only makes you look like a team player but also makes it more likely that someone will back you in this way.
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