The Secret To Staying Cool Under Pressure

Published: December 4, 2012
By: Faye Hollands

If you’ve ever been put on the spot during a meeting, interview or presentation you’ll know that articulating your thoughts with confidence can be a challenge when you’re under pressure.  Thankfully there are 5 simple steps you can take to make sure you put your best foot forward…

Think On Your Feet

The ability to think on your feet is a skill worth mastering as it will help you come across as confident and trustworthy.  Follow these 5 tips to stay poised when you find yourself faced with unexpected questions: –

1.  Listen

It’s critical to fully understand the question you’re being asked before you answer – if you reply too soon you run the risk of giving an inappropriate response so pay attention and clearly interpret what’s being asked.

2.  Stalling Tactics

If you feel under pressure it’s good to give yourself time to get your thoughts in order and to calm down.  Ask for the question to be repeated, clarify your understanding and ask for any jargon to be defined.  Taking the time out to ask these questions will help increase your level of confidence and composure.

3.  Silence Is Golden

Too may people find silence uncomfortable – forget it!  Used sparingly, silence communicates that you’re in control of your thoughts and confident in your ability to answer.  Don’t rush your brain – slow down and give yourself time to collect your thoughts.

4.  Stick To The Point

There’s a risk that, under pressure, you’ll answer a question with either too much or too little information, both of which can be an issue.  Remember to stick to the point, answer the question and give just enough supporting information.  You’re not being asked for a speech or lecture!

5.  Practice Your Delivery

How you say something is just as important as what you say, and when you mumble your confidence can plummet.  Make sure you speak in a strong voice, slow yourself down, pay attention to the tone of your voice, and use an appropriate level of formality to match the situation.

Being put on the spot happens to us all and can be stressful.  However, it’s important to remember that the associated stress doesn’t need to be unmanageable – with a little preparation and focus you will answer like an expert and impress your audience with confidence and control.

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Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.

To receive your FREE MP3 download of Faye’s popular teleseminar ‘How To Create A Career You Love‘ and weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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