Very few of us are naturally confident when it comes to meeting new people. Add to that the pressure of it being a business meeting with a potential new contract in the balance, and most us would rather opt for root canal surgery.
When it comes to marketing your own business, the responsibility for meetings is likely to fall on your shoulders. So, whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to get used to putting on a confident face and sell yourself and your business.
One coping strategy for this is to act and ‘become’ the confident person you’ve always wanted to be.
Acting – Imposter Syndrome
Just in case you think I’ve made that up…
Imposter Syndrome…is a psychological phenomenon in which competent people find it impossible to believe in their own competence.
Does that sound familiar? You’re in a meeting, you’re answering questions competently, your audience is nodding encouragingly, it all appears to be going well, but deep down you feel like a fraud, just waiting for them to see through you and catch you out.
You’re not alone -Imposter Syndrome can strike anyone at any time. So, how do you overcome it?
The Oscar for Leading Actress goes to…
Before you go into your meeting, tell yourself over and over that you know what you’re talking about, you are an expert in your field, they have come to you because of your skill, knowledge and expertise. When you meet them, greet them with a smile, a chirpy ‘hello’, a firm handshake and keep your head held high. If you act in a confident manner, you will deliver your pitch with conviction and they will be left in little doubt that you really know your onions.
You see, if you act confidently you’ll sail through; if you fidget, avoid eye contact and dither, no one will take you seriously.
So, how can you create an air of confidence?
- Prepare for your meeting – don’t try and wing it
- Practise your pitch in front of the mirror or friends
- Dress to impress
- Visualise a successful outcome and it will happen
- Don’t make it up – if you can’t answer them straight away, tell them you’ll get back to them (and make sure you do)
No one in that room (other than you) will know how many times you have rehearsed, so stand tall and speak with confidence.
What do you think?
Does this sound familiar?
What coping strategies do you use for meetings?
Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you.