HOW TO STAY FOCUSED & RELAXED WHEN LEADING MEETINGS

For some individuals leading presentations comes quite naturally, while others hesitate to express a word in public. With preparation, practice, and use of the strategies listed below your next meeting can be a success! Get ready to capture your audience, while keeping focused and relaxed!

TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN DIRECTING MEETINGS:

1. Prepare ahead of time. Planning and preparation are key elements for success when conducting business meetings and presentations. Depending on the intent of the meeting you may want to research company information, gather statistical data, collaborate with other professionals, or prepare a PowerPoint presentation to name a few suggestions. Allowing ample time to gather needed information and resources can alleviate stress on the day of your meeting.

2. Explore your surroundings and greet people. Arriving a few minutes early provides an opportunity to explore your surroundings and meet other people. Use this time to introduce yourself in a causal manner and to become acquainted with your audience. It’s also a great opportunity to sit back and relax, while envisioning yourself presenting successfully.

3. Maintain eye contact and smile. Avoid reading directly from PowerPoint slides or notecards, rather concise reading material and explain in your own words. Also, glance at your audience and smile periodically.

4. Involve your audience. Encouraging input from your audience promotes feedback and attentiveness. This is a great way to determine if your audience is grasping your message, and a time to give attention to areas needing clarification.

5. Keep presentations on topic. Stay focused on the message you want your audience to take home at the end of the meeting. If unrelated questions come up, simply redirect your audience to the subject at hand.

6. Pause and breathe. If you begin to feel nervous take a deep breath, pause for a drink of water, and proceed with your meeting. Taking a moment to collect your thoughts can help decrease anxiety and maintain focus. 

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