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Okay. It's finally go time. You're about to walk into an important meeting with your manager to present a brilliant idea. You've prepared your talking points, but you're feeling unsettled and nervous. What do you do?
When others perceive you as confident, they also view you as competent. They treat you like a peer and listen to your opinions and ideas. As a result, you feel (and actually even become) more confident. One way to ground yourself before the big moment is through your breathing.
Before you even go into your meeting, practice taking a few very slow, very deep breaths. Doing this will help you feel more centered, relaxed and calm. You'll also stand taller and give off a more purposeful air when you enter the room. This practice will ensure that you appear - and are - more confident.
You can try this trick in the meeting itself as well. If you find yourself beginning to talk too fast, just stop and take a deep breath. Your talking speed will naturally slow, which will give others a chance to engage you. You'll then be talking with them instead of talking at them—a crucial distinction, and a much more effective strategy for selling your big idea.
Thanks for reading along this month. If you'd like to me to send you one of my favorite deep breathing exercises (or just if you'd like to say hello), you can email me at simma [at] simmalieberman [dot] com. Put the words "breathing exercise" in the subject line for the former. Remember—low and slow. Knock 'em dead, and best of luck going forward!
—Simma Lieberman, Career Coach