13 Jun Six Super Strategies To Prepare Yourself Before An Interview Or Presentation
Imagine that you tomorrow you are attending the interview for your ideal job, you are scheduled tor the presentation to deliver to gain a new contract, or you have a difficult meeting organised to solve an issue. You have done all your research but you still feel anxious. Having nerves before a “performance” is natural because you want to do your best – and also you cannot control how others will respond.
As we say on our Advance courses, “Control the controllables.” If you have done your research, practised your presentation or answers with information that you believe is essential to include, you are ensuring that you are as prepared as possible to present yourself at your best.
Tips to Control the Controllables to boost your confidence before an important meeting, presentation or interview:
Define your SMART goal for the interview. meeting, or presentation. What is your aim? How will you measure your success? Is the goal of the interview achievable? By defining your goal, this will ensure you create a realistic and achievable strategy to work on to prepare for the event. Write down your goal as a positive and successful affirmation which you can refer to as a confidence booster, and to maintain your motivation. Ensure that your affirmation is in the present tense, reflects a successful interview or presentation, is time bound, clear in what you are physically doing, and highlights your emotional response in an achievable setting so that you can fully believe you can achieve your goal.
Visualise yourself performing at your best in the interview or the presentation – spend time visualising the whole scenario as you would like to perform – how you plan to walk in the room, shake an interviewer’s hand, introduce yourself, check that all your technological appliance work, and you give the most effective answers or deliver the presentation exactly as you would prefer.
As we discuss on our Advance courses, the brain is constantly creating and revising mental maps by building and strengthening your dendrites. The connections in your brain are strengthened by the anticipation and by visualising an event, just as they are by actually experiencing the event in real time. You can actively create the mind map of positive dendrites through visualisation so that you are fully prepared for the positive outcome.
Practise your positive self talk before your interview or presentation – keep your thoughts positive – with successful visualisation and using clear, positive thoughts. Ignore the negative mental chatter that will cause unneeded anxiety and doubts. Accentuate the positive, and ignore the negative. Your self talk physically creates the dendrites in your brain so that you will behave as you are thinking.
Strike your Power Pose. By visualising yourself in your best self before an important event, your body and mind are aligned so that you can behave and think in your best self. Powerful Poses are like a physical form of Advance’s written affirmations. In her Ted Talk “Your body language shapes who you are”, Amy Cuddy recommends that you practise the Powerful Poses shown in her Talk to prepare you before an interview, important meeting, presentation, or asking for assistance.
Practise Mindfulness Techniques to focus your thoughts, and lower your anxiety and stress. We have discussed mindfulness techniques before which you can use in the workplace, before a meeting, or as part of your daily routine. The benefits of practising mindfulness techniques have shown excellent results in concentration, memory, performance and improved psychological and physical well being.
Aim to connect with the interviewer, client or audience – you want your audience, interviewer or client to buy into and believe your “why” – and either choose you for a job, as a supplier, or to gain a contract. Revise your “why” and consider your values as preparation so that you can convey them to your interviewers, clients or audience. Instead of trying to impress them with all your credentials and experience, prepare by doing the research and enter the room positively to gain a rapport with the other individuals. You want to be a part of THEIR team, and to show what you have to contribute to improve their team results and dynamics.
And finally, just before you enter that room, take a deep breath, strike your power pose, and smile. Because first impressions DO count, and will enable you to enter the meeting with confidence, positivity, and a clear goal.