You’re getting ready to go into a meeting and that old familiar feeling starts bubbling up. Your heart rate increases, your chest starts to tighten, you start sweating, and you feel nauseous. Meeting anxiety is common, but you have the opportunity to overcome it and step into the conference room (or click into the video call) with confidence. Here’s how:

 Be Prepared

 Make sure you know what the meeting is about and set aside time to ensure that you are prepped and ready for any portions for which you might need to contribute, such as a report or presentation. If you’re not sure why a meeting has been set, reach out to the organizer and request an agenda. Ask if there is anything that you need to prepare. This will help you know what you’re getting into so that the fear and anxiety of the unknown can be reduced or removed. 

Practice Your Presentation

 If you know that you are going to have to give a presentation in a meeting, take some time to practice it. Find a friend, family member, or colleague that can help or practice in your office or in front of a mirror. This will help you feel prepared and confident—and perhaps even get some helpful feedback from others so that your presentation is the best that it can be.

Take a Break Before the Meeting

 Take some time for yourself before the meeting, even if it’s only 5 minutes. Take a short walk around the office or building, make yourself a cup of coffee, or do a short mediation or breathing exercise—whatever helps you feel relaxed or takes your mind off of the upcoming meeting. This will put you in a calmer state before the meeting even starts. 

Arrive Early

 Showing up a few minutes early can give you extra time to settle your nerves, chat with your co-workers, and get ready. You won’t have to worry about arriving at the last second or rushing around beforehand. This will set you off on the right foot before the meeting. 

 Take Meeting Notes by Hand

 Instead of simply sitting in the meeting or taking notes on your computer, go “old school” and grab a pen and notepad. Taking notes by hand can help ground you and give you somewhere for your anxiety to focus. As an added bonus, you’ll have helpful notes to look back on when you get back to your desk and start getting to work! 

Acknowledge Your Feelings of Meeting Anxiety

 If you are starting to sense that anxious feeling rising up, it can be really helpful to take a deep breath and acknowledge what you are feeling, and if you can, why you are feeling it. When you start to get to the root of what’s causing your anxiety about work meetings, you can start to focus on setting yourself up for success instead of failure.


At the end of the day, don’t be too hard on yourself. If meetings are causing you anxiety, you’re not alone. Most people feel some sort of anxiety or stress around meetings, but your anxious feelings don’t have to take over your thoughts or affect your performance at work! Your success at work is not measured by how your meetings go. Go easy on yourself and give yourself the space you need to work through your meeting anxiety. 

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