A few practical tips worth revisiting are:
** Be prepared and know exactly what it is you want from this meeting;
** Thoroughly research the company you’re going to be dealing with;
** Choose an outfit appropriate for the meeting – if unsure ask your friends (asking your mother may cause greater anxiety than you first started with);
** Know exactly where and when the meeting will be and who will be there;
** Meditate before you leave for your meeting – it’s important to be in a centred and calm frame of mind; and
** Arrive with plenty of time to spare.
Something which has helped me be prepared for just about anything is practising an imaginery meeting and watching myself interacting with others starting from the moment when I arrive at the Reception counter. I run through this imaginery meeting until the end when I say my farewell. By doing this, not only do I become familiar with the meeting, it also gives me greater confidence and self awareness as well as produce a successful result.
If you’ve never considered rehearsing before the following exercise may be worthy of consideration.
You can start this step by step process by first:
** Writing down at least 10 possible questions that may be asked of you. Answer each question in detail, adding any variations that come to mind.
Putting aside for now the end result , practice using your five senses (hear, taste, see, smell, feel) and your mind’s eye to imagine in full detail how this meeting will unfold, starting from the very beginning to the end. Imagine and experience this meeting fully in the present tense, in other words, be there now.
Experience and imagine:
** How relaxed and confident you are;
** What you’re wearing;
** Your arrival at the nominated venue, and how you are greeted at the Reception counter;
** What you will be taking with you into the meeting (clipboard, briefcase etc);
** The venue setting;
** Greeting the other person, the tone of your voice and theirs (imagine how strong and confident it is);
** Sitting in your seat;
** Where the other person is sitting, their posture and facial expression;
** How you sit and they sit; how you hold your body, where you place your bag, briefcase or other item;
** Notice your facial features and theirs;
** Notice also the rapport between you, notice any smiling and hear the sound of laughter;
** See and hear yourself responding to their questions in full detail;
** The smell of the room, perfume, street smells, and the taste in your mouth; and
** Anything else you notice or would like to add.
** At the close of the meeting observe your farewell, what you say, how you say it, your facial features and body movements.
Rerun the meeting differently several times and include different verbal exchanges, further tweak what needs tweaking. It’s not about perfecting one scene over and over, it’s about providing a combination of possibilities that will help you be even more prepared.
For example, visualise the other person looking perplexed by what you’re saying, communicate differently and notice what happens. See and hear this exchange in full detail. Rerun as often as you need to until you get the result you want.
For added measure, you could also rehearse your meeting by placing two chairs at a table for yourself and the other person. Sit down in one of the chairs and imagine you’re speaking to the person sitting opposite. Become aware of how you sit, your breathing rate, clarity of voice and rapport.
When you’ve finished speaking, move into second position (the other seat) and communicate what you believe that person will say, how they’ll respond, what you anticipate their body movements to be and volume, speed and tone of voice.
As a final practice technique dress for success and speak to your reflection in a mirror. Practice various verbal exchanges with the other person. Watch and notice your facial expressions, body movements including breathing rate as well as using different postures, expressions and questions and answers. Have fun and tweak what needs tweaking…
With some practical self coaching and mental rehearsal life can become that much more easier, comfortable and provide greater confidence, awareness and more successful results.