This is it.
Everything you’ve worked for comes down to this one meeting.
All of the phone calls, emails, marketing and preparation boils down to this question: Can you be influential in this one moment?
No matter who you are, no matter how many times you have done it, nervousness creeps in.
The best of the best know how to transform that nervous energy into excitement. But for those who don’t naturally feel pumped-up under pressure, it’s helpful to have your Pressure Meeting Power Plan.
In her recent TED talk, Amy Cuddy shared how simple shifts in body language can improve your confidence and change your hormone levels. The basic conclusion is that taking on a “power pose” for just a few minutes makes you more confident and charismatic.
When a lot is on the line for your upcoming meeting, you want to take this concept and run with it. Give yourself the extra boost you need.
Don’t wait to do your power poses just 5 minutes before your meeting. Have your Pressure Meeting Power Plan for every stage that leads up to the big moment.
Have A Killer Playlist for the Drive:
Music works wonders on the mind. Playing the right tracks can trigger a state that increases confidence. Music that puts you in a good mood will decrease your stress hormones and increase your “power” hormones. So, during the drive to your pressure meeting, don’t listen to NPR. The troubles of the world will still be there after your meeting. You can catch the headlines later.
Have your playlist with “Eye of the Tiger,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Happy,” or “Can’t Hold Us.” Whatever gets your blood pumping.
And during that drive, really rock out! Go full-tilt Wayne’s World with it!
Sitting in a slumped position reeling over your meeting plans over and over again will only increase your nervousness.
The Walk to Victory:
Walking up to the office building shouldn’t feel like the Green Mile. You need to strut your stuff! Make sure that your shoulders are back and your chest is proud. Imagine yourself walking through the arena tunnel onto the field for the Super Bowl. You own this!
Take the Stairs:
If the meeting room is few floors up, I highly recommend taking the stairs for just a flight or two. Leg exercises give you a solid boost of testosterone. The more testosterone in your system, the more confident you feel…and the more confidence you will project to your decision makers.
Now, there’s no need to climb up the entire building. A flight or two should be fine. And be sure that you aren’t huffing and puffing when you walk through the doors. Climbing the stairs doesn’t need to be a race. Take your time and feel your swagger building up.
Own the Waiting Room:
If you have to wait before going into your meeting, don’t deminish all that wonderful confidence-boosting preparation by sitting in the lobby chair, hunched over, looking at your phone. Stay in the zone!
There’s nothing wrong with standing confidently as you wait. If you feel you must sit, then sit in a powerful – even territorial – position. Take up space in your chair.
By consciously building confidence in your body, your mind will catch up and believe all the signals your body is sending it. This feedback from your body to your mind is called embodied cognition. If you sit, stand, and walk in timid or nervous postures, then you are priming your body and mind to be small and subordinate. If you want to own the meeting, then you need to own each stage leading up to the meeting. Knowing how to influence yourself is often half the battle towards being persuasive.
Those are my favorite steps to prepare for nerve-wracking moments. What are some of your go-to tips to feel awesome? Please share your ideas in the comments below.