Often it’s the most simple practices that make all the difference! We’re all running around trying desperately hard to become better at things, by working ridiculously hard. What I keep coming back to is the simple solutions.
In this blog, I am going to share 3 simple solutions that I think will have a significant impact on how you communicate, specifically for online meetings.
Stand up! Instead of sitting in your meeting, stand up. Get a standing desk, a big box, or something that allows you to position your computer at eye level while standing. It took me months to actually implement this advice. When I did, it was a game-changer! People even commented on how energized I seemed. Thank you to Cathy Sommerville-Scharetg and Nima Abu-Wardeh, two outstanding communication coaches and mentors, for passing on this wisdom.
Write Down Your Worries. If you are feeling nervous about a meeting, take some time to write down your worries and fears. If it’s an investor meeting and you’re worried about all the facts and figures you might need, write them down. It’s much better to spend the 5-10 minutes before the meeting getting into a good way of being, rather than trying to cram in numbers and information. If you’re worrying about the facts and figures that you don’t know, decide if they are important and know that next time you will have them ready ahead of time. This is an opportunity to improve your process. However, right now it is all about you being relaxed and in a good state of mind. If you are asked a question you do not know the answer to, you can follow up with the information.
Settle Your Nervous System. The last word of advice was about calming your mind. This piece of advice is about settling your nervous system, the body’s command center. Deep breathing lowers stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol and releases feel-good endorphins. It also helps the prefrontal cortex to become more functional, improving focus.
There are many breathing techniques that can be used. Here I suggest a simple one called ‘Box Breathing’, which is to exhale to the count of four, hold your lungs empty for a four-count, inhale to a count of four, hold the air in your lungs for a count of four, and then repeat. Try to do this for at least 3 reps. You won’t need to do many to feel the difference.
For more breathwork techniques, check out this blog ‘9 Breathing Exercises to Relieve Anxiety’ by Be Well Mind.
These small yet effective practices can significantly enhance your presence and performance in Zoom meetings. By standing up, managing your worries, and calming your nervous system, you’re not only preparing yourself to communicate effectively but also taking care of your mental and physical well-being. Remember, communication is not just about what we say, but also how we say it. Our body language, tone, and state of mind play a crucial role. So next time you have a Zoom meeting, try these simple tips and see the difference for yourself!