Shift your focus to the present: When you're waiting to speak, it's easy to get caught up in worrying about the future or dwelling on past experiences. Instead, try to shift your focus to the present moment. Pay attention to the current speaker, take notes, and engage in active listening. By immersing yourself in the discussion, you'll be less likely to get distracted by nervous thoughts.

Practice deep breathing: Deep breathing is a simple yet effective technique for calming nerves and reducing anxiety. While waiting to speak, take a few slow, deep breaths. Inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and then exhale through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat this process several times until you feel your body and mind start to relax.

Use positive visualization: Visualization is a powerful tool for managing nerves and boosting confidence. Close your eyes and imagine yourself speaking confidently and effectively in the meeting. Imagine the audience responding positively to your ideas and engaging in meaningful discussion. By mentally rehearsing a successful outcome, you'll be more likely to perform well when it's your turn to speak.

Reframe your nerves as excitement: Research has shown that reframing nervousness as excitement can lead to improved performance. Instead of telling yourself, "I'm so nervous," try saying, "I'm excited to share my ideas." Embracing the energy and adrenaline that comes with nervousness can help you feel more confident and engaged.

Prepare and practice: One of the best ways to manage nerves is to be well-prepared. Take time before the meeting to research your topic, organize your thoughts, and practice your key points. Consider practising in front of a mirror, with a colleague, or by recording yourself. The more familiar you are with your material, the more confident you'll feel when it's time to speak.

Embrace imperfection: Remember, no one expects you to be perfect. It's okay to stumble over your words, lose your train of thought, or take a moment to gather yourself. Embrace the fact that everyone makes mistakes and that your audience is likely to be understanding and supportive. By letting go of the need to be perfect, you'll be able to speak more authentically and connect with your audience on a human level.

Managing nerves while waiting to speak in meetings is a skill that can be developed with practice and patience. By shifting your focus to the present, practicing deep breathing, using positive visualization, reframing your nerves as excitement, preparing thoroughly, and embracing imperfection, you'll be well-equipped to handle those nerve-wracking moments. Remember, every speaking opportunity is a chance to grow, learn, and make a positive impact. Embrace the challenge and trust in your ability to succeed.

Managing your nerves and calming yourself is just a small part of what I can do to help you nail your next speech or presentation. Go to my services page to learn more about how I can help you present like a pro.