There is something about meetings that unnerve me…especially if I am presenting at the said meeting.
I deliver multiple projects that impact business activities and need to be assessed periodically so as not to cause a domino effect to other IT systems.
So having meetings are inevitable. I cannot escape even if I wanted to.
Preparing for my first Go/no go meeting of the year was a little bit unnerving.
I had never met any of the bosses (aka my ‘ogas’ at the top) in person; we had mainly communicated via email/conference calls and I was looking to make a great first impression.
To prepare myself, I got my handy checklist:
PowerPoint Presentation – No spelling mistakes, not too many bright colours
Biscuits, tea, coffee & sweets – Overflowing (You know, just to keep them engaged)
Banging outfit – Check
Killer heels – Double check
Hair and makeup – On fleek
Nails – Trimmed and painted clear
Voice Exercises – Done
Nervousness – On a hundred thousand, trillion
I got to the meeting venue 20 minutes before schedule…not because I am over efficient but just because sometimes my mind works against me and I assume the worst.
What if the meeting room booking has been cancelled?
What if the fire alarm goes off mid presentation and I can’t find the fire exit?
What if…there are so many what ifs.
Be still my heart.
The meeting happened.
The power point presentation kept hanging and frazzled me a bit (mother of all horrors).
I blamed technology. I did not lose my voice, I communicated clearly and responded to challenges with clarity of mind.
The fire alarm did not go off (Thank you Jesus!).
No matter how many times I have presented in meetings, the fear and nervousness persist.
However, with practice and repetition my delivery is steadier and I achieve every outcome I set in the meeting agenda.
It has been years of trial and error but I think I have found my sweet spot now. I need to prepare as if my life depended on it. I also need to visualise myself excelling at these presentations.
Will I ever stop being nervous before making presentations?
Don’t hold your breath mate!