Getting ready to deliver a big presentation? Going to a networking event that you’re nervous about? Heading into a crucial meeting, or a crucial conversation?
Whatever the critical scenario may be, in order to successfully maneuver it and come out on top, one must approach it with confidence (a humble confidence, of course).
That’s great, but where do you get this confidence? Well, we feel most confident when we are prepared. It’s one thing to show up at a crucial meeting and wing it; it’s another entirely to take the time to prepare before the meeting, to show up with facts and figures to support your arguments. It’s guaranteed that if you took the time to prepare for that meeting, or any other important event, the outcome would likely be much different. The more you know, the more confident you will be and appear to others. The more you prepare, the more your executive presence will shine through.
Here are top three ways you can prepare and build confidence before any important event:
1. Find out as much as you can about the event/meeting/presentation beforehand.
Do your homework! In order to prepare adequately for the event or presentation, find out as much as you can about it: Who will be there? Where exactly is it? What is the dress code? Who will you be sitting beside? The more you can find out ahead of time, the better able you will be to prepare adequately.
2. How well do you know the people attending?
The more you know about the people who will be in attendance the better, especially if it’s a networking event! Contact the organizer and find out who’s going to be there. If possible, look up the individuals and find out as much as you can about them. Knowing about the people you’ll be interacting with will not only make you feel more at ease, but will impress those you talk to as well. It can also help you to converse with those around you, as you can mention something about the person that you saw while doing your homework.
3. Make notes. Know your material.
Michael Bay, producer of Transformers, showed us that being unprepared – not knowing your material, relying on teleprompters – does not work. Things go wrong. Technology fails us. To avoid potential mishaps, knowing your material can save you a lot of embarrassment.
We’re all so busy in our day-to-day lives that we often forget to take the time to prepare for crucial scenarios thoroughly. We rely too closely on technology working well, on our instincts, on our experiences. Confidence is key when approaching any critical scenario, and the best way to feel confident is to prepare. When you approach a critical scenario with confidence and poise, you project executive presence.