When I started to venture the road of entrepreneurship, it hadn’t occurred to me that I would be presenting and meeting with different business owners. Maybe because I wasn’t thinking big enough during that time.
But as my businesses grow, it has become clearer to me that connecting and meeting with other people is one of the keys to a successful business. And for them to do business with you, emails and phone calls are not enough. You have to present your propositions or speak in front of them.
Public speaking has never been my cup of tea. It makes me feel nervous and my hands shaky. But I was able to overcome it and be able to speak confidently in any business meeting by doing the following strategies:
Download your strategy checklist on how to speak confidently in business meetings.
Prepare what you need.
Anyone won’t be able to speak confidently in front of everybody if they are not prepared. Yes, anyone. Even the most experienced and best public speaker in the world.
In every business meeting, you need to prepare what you need to say, your documents, your presentation, or anything that you need to get the message across to your audience.
To make your business meeting successful, get this meeting framework (with template).
Practice a lot.
I’ve been invited a lot to be a speaker for several business events, and I make sure that I practice a lot before I go there.
I read my scripts aloud, so that I can also memorise the flow of my agenda. You don’t have to completely memorise your speech. Business meetings aren’t graded recitations in schools.
The point here is that, you need to practice to speak, so that you will learn how to modulate your voice, and pronounce with clarity.
Observe your appearance and posture.
To make you look like a confident person, you have to watch your appearance and posture. Dress appropriately for the business event.
If the meeting is held in a conference room, wear a formal suit. If it’s in a more relaxed location, a casual attire would do. This way, you won’t have to worry what people might think about you concerning your appearance.
And for your posture, make sure you stand up straight yet relaxed. Don’t be too stiff. Speaking confidently also starts with how you present yourself.
Arrive early at the meeting place.
Sometimes, your ability to speak confidently is hindered because you are not at ease with the location of the business meeting.
To have yourself ease into it, arrive earlier at the meeting place. Maybe, 10 or 15 minutes early. Picture into your mind how you will talk in front, prepare your presentation, have it set up, etc. Anything that will help you familiarise yourself with the location.
Speak with other meeting attendees.
If you have arrived early, speak with the meeting’s other attendees so you will not feel awkward and banish that feeling of discomfort. They’re people too. In a way, they are also nervous like you.
Just by welcoming them to the meeting place will make you feel more connected with them and boost your confidence. Ask them how is their day, or if they would like a cup of coffee.
Speak louder, clearly, and make eye contact.
Speaking louder will help you leave a great impression among your audience. While speaking louder helps you appear more confident, it will also help you to alleviate your anxiety.
But the most important of all is that you should be able to speak clearly and make eye contact with everyone. Speaking clearly will make your audience better comprehend your message and making eye contact exhibits that you actually know what you’re saying.
Make hand gestures.
According to a Forbes article of Carol Kinsey Goman, great leaders talk with their hands. Based on a research, people who communicate through active gesturing tend to be evaluated as warm, agreeable and energetic.
So if you use appropriate hand gestures while you do your presentation in your business meeting, people will be more likely to agree with you, and you could possibly close that business deal.
Not all entrepreneurs or business owners are born as great public speakers, but they do have the best of ideas. Nevertheless, speaking confidently in business meetings can be learned by anyone, as long as you put an effort to it.
Download your strategy checklist below on how to speak confidently in business meetings.