Business network meetings can be really scary places especially for those starting out in business. So how can you overcome your nerves and soar like an eagle ?

Here are some questions and tips for you to help you.

1. Why am I doing this ?

Good question! The first thing to do before booking into a business network meeting is to ask yourself why are you wanting to be there, afterall if you get nervous, do you really want to stress yourself out even more ? Why not ask yourself is it the opportunity to meet new people, to arrange a coffee for potential clients and to listen to a guest speaker ? Write down your answers and thoughts as these will be become your meeting goals.

2. Arrive early

Why not arrive early so you don’t walk into a room full of people. If you are concerned about walking into a room with 40 people, then you could be one of the first people there and it won’t be so daunting.

3. Tell the meeting leader

If you are nervous, why not tell the leader of the meeting. They could “buddy” you up with someone on the day so you have someone to make you feel comfortable and at ease.

4. Don’t worry about other people

Focus on you and what you are going to say. If the meeting you are attending involves standing and speaking, write a script and read from it. You don’t even need to make eye contact with others this way! If you want to learn to present without a script, make eye contact with the meeting leader only and talk to them only, you will be focussing on one point and you’ll be surprised how your confidence will build.

5. Say to people that you are nervous

We’ve all been there with the nerves, so why not tell people you are nervous. Most people in business networking are really honest and supportive people, so why not tell the person you are talking to and they may fill you with confidence.

6. Meet outside the meeting

It’s a strange one, but people will generally get to know you outside the meeting rather than at the meeting, especially when meeting for the first time. Most business network meetings are about giving people the opportunity to meet for the first time, the actual business takes place outside the meeting and that’s where people will get to know you for who you are.

7. Be You!

It sounds obvious, but be you. People will buy into you and be supportive rather than feeling they aren’t seeing the real you.

8. Look at the forehead!

Look at what ? Yes the forehead! If you want to learn to grow and speak with more confidence, look at people across the room and look at their forehead, not their eyes. From a distance, they won’t be able to tell you aren’t looking at their eyes and you will feel more at ease.

9. Stand behind your chair

If you are worried about public speaking in a network meeting, you could stand behind your chair so it gives you more distance from your audience. It sounds a silly one, but it does work.

10. Bring Someone

Why not bring a work colleague or another business owner with you. You will have some great support already which will help your confidence.

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