Sweaty palms, a pounding heart, and mind wandering; these symptoms are not uncommon if you are feeling nervous before an important presentation with a prospect, customer, team, or manager. 

To prevent pre-meeting jitters from interfering with your work, these five practices will equip you with everything you need to confidently approach your meeting. 

Step #1: Acknowledge the Jitters

As always, the first step in initiating improvement is discovering and making peace with the need for it. Acknowledge you are nervous before a big meeting and realize it is normal to be! In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health discovered 74% of Americans have speech anxiety, so you are not alone with your pre-presentation jitters! 

Step #2: Prepare and Rehearse

Studies conducted by Orai uncovered that 90% of the anxiety we feel before a meeting is rooted in a lack of preparation, whether it is being unclear on the content or not believing you do not possess the right “meeting voice.” Review your meeting scripts and rehearse for presentations well ahead of time. Think about how to engage your meeting attendees and make sure you are solid on the facts/figures!

Step #3: De-stress

Everyone knows stress impedes performance. De-stress before the meeting through various relaxation techniques! Do breathing exercises, such as pursed-lip breathing or equal breathing. Invest in some stress balls to fidget with to take off the edge. Drink some sparkling water or tea to calm your nerves. 

Step #4: Think Positively

Always approach meetings with a healthy mindset! It is scientifically proven that a positive attitude puts you at the top of your game, equipping you with a stimulated brain, increased energy levels, and improved critical thinking. In short, thinking in a positive, healthy manner = sharpening of skills + happiness!

Step #5: Live to Learn

Sometimes, presentations simply may not work out. You may not seal that sales contract or woo over that client. But it is important to simply give it your best shot by preparing and executing your presentation to the best of your ability; then, always reflect on your meetings afterward and take note of what you did well/could do better. 

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Happy Meetings!