It isn't always easy to feel comfortable in your own skin. When it comes to presenting during a business meeting, it can be especially difficult to feel comfortable, considering you're usually looking a bunch of people in the eye and have the task of convincing them of something.
- Fake it 'till you make it.
This saying is a raging cliche, but it's popular for a reason. When you fake the act of exuding confidence, you get used to feeling that confident, and it soon becomes second-nature for you. Not to mention, the people eating up your confidence will help you maintain that confidence: Once they're sold on your show, you'll actually believe they're happy with what you deliver. While it's important to understand that true confidence comes from within, it also helps to know that other people are on board with you, because positive feedback is always uplifting and motivates us to continue to do our best.
One of my favorite YouTube vloggers has a saying: "Act confident and no one will question you." Amen to that, sister!
2. Wear something that makes you feel good.
I once had to give a Powerpoint presentation to a group of people. I wasn't sure what to wear and had spent nearly all of the night before pacing around and tearing through my closet. My sister suggested I wear a black pencil skirt with a blazer, so the morning of the presentation, that's exactly what I put on. But as I stood in front of the mirror and analyzed myself, I realized I felt stiff and uncomfortable. I wasn't my best self in that outfit, and I knew I wouldn't do a good job if I decided to wear it.
The thing is, my sister's style isn't my style, and vice versa. The clothes that make my sister feel good aren't necessarily what make me feel good. When we talk about feeling good in our skin, we have to be intuitive, tune everyone else out and put on what makes us feel good. That day, I ended up wearing a long, flowy skirt rather than a pencil one because I felt more beautiful in it. I ended up knocking my presentation out of the park.
3. Get a feel for the room.
When you step into a room and you're about to present, you're usually only focused on yourself: the way you look, your abundant amount of nerves, what everyone thinks of you as you stand up there, sweaty but smiling. Well, try to take some of that focus off yourself and put it on the people you'll be presenting in front of.
Feel the room. Get a vibe of what the people are like: is the environment stuffy, or is it more welcoming and inviting? Is it all men, all women or half and half? When you really get to know the room, you set yourself up for success because you won't feel as nervous since you've already done your research. While it's wisest to be yourself, it's also wise to try and cater most to the people in the room.
Ultimately, knowing how you should adapt to the environment beforehand will leave you feeling confident and composed.