Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

How Do You Project Confidence Leading Meetings When You're Really Not?

~ By Dana Brownlee

Business people looking at their leader while he explains something on whiteboard

The Problem: Oftentimes we're thrust into situations where we're expected to lead a meeting, and we may lack the confidence we think we should have. Maybe we're not confident because we're new to the organisation, possibly we're not as knowledgeable about the subject matter, or maybe we're not as senior as some of the attendees. There are a whole host of reasons why we may experience feelings ranging from slight intimidation to downright terror!! Don't fret, here are a few simple tips to help you when you need to lead a session with confidence!

Consider these suggestions…

  • Use an ice breaker or other meeting opener that works well with groups. This allows you a few minutes to calm your nerves and establish a strong start with the group.
  • If possible, start the meeting with creative introductions (including a funny fact like each person's first paid job). This shifts the focus from you to the attendees and also creates a bit of levity.
  • Scope out the room at least a day prior. If possible, test out all the AV equipment to be sure everything is working properly.
  • Gather information on the attendees prior to the session. The more information you have the less nervous you will be.
  • Meet with key players prior to the session. These pre-meetings can provide great insight that might impact your agenda or facilitation plan. It also offers an opportunity for you to get to know you audience. It's always less threatening to lead a session if you know the attendees.
  • Make sure you have a written Purpose, Agenda, and Limit posted in the room before the meeting starts so you can easily refer to it once the meeting starts. Having these items posted and easily accessible ensures that you don't get flustered and forget to cover them or miss key points.
  • Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Review your agenda and facilitation plan with a key ally who can give you honest feedback a few days prior to the session.
  • There's nothing like experience to help soothe your fears. Take a facilitation training class to build your skills.
  • If possible, try to have food at the session. Food improves everyone's mood!

Dana Brownlee is President of Professionalism Matters, Inc. a boutique professional development corporate training firm. Her latest publications are "Are You Running a Meeting or Drowning in Chaos?" and "5 Secrets to Virtually Cut Your Meeting Time in Half!" She can be reached at danapbrownlee@professionalismmatters.com


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
How many letters are in the word two?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Risk Management Options

Risk management written on a puzzle piece

Risk management is an ongoing process to identify potential problems that could arise when new projects occur within a business.

Demand a Strong Project Plan

Gantt chart

What to look for to advance your consulting projects from contract to execution.

How to Get the Most From Your Project Team

Project team in a huddle

Project management is people management. Here's our reminder of how to make sure you get the most from your project team.

72 Project Management Tips

Hand holding a key with success written on the fob

Here are 72 project management tips designed to help you lead your projects with skill, authority and grace.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Peter Earnshaw commented on…
Pareto Analysis Step by Step
- Tue 4 February 2:03am

Lesiba Matlou commented on…
Writing a Funding Proposal
- Sun 26 January 5:18am

Tim Rumbaugh commented on…
10 Golden Rules of Project Risk Management
- Sat 28 December 6:48pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: Best Project Management Software? https://t.co/HyQCVlHo1Y about 11 hours ago

General Project Management • APM Full Membership https://t.co/O5GdicubRr about 2 days ago

General Project Management • Best Project Management Software? https://t.co/9W9Cc3DEDP about 18 days ago