You’ve heard of FOMO— Fear of Missing Out, but what if you’re missing out in a meeting or at a networking event because you’re a bit of a business wallflower?
We’ve all seen and heard of wallflowers- standing alone on the back wall at the dance, getting picked last for sports teams or formal dates. And you may be thinking, ‘That’s totally not me…I’m queen of the social scene!’ But are you queen of the boardroom? Or do you get too shy to speak up when you’re face-to-face with a big client or the company CEO?
Don’t fret. It’s normal and it’s a part of growing yourself as a business woman. You’re a wildflower at heart; you just need a little water and the chance to bloom.
This article will walk you through how to make sure you’re seen, heard, stand out and presenting yourself with the most girl boss confidence.
MAKE AN IMPRESSION AND STAND OUT
You’ve heard the saying a million times- ‘you only get one chance at a first impression.’ And while your first instinct may be to knock ‘em dead with the killer outfit you just bought, but it may leave your client or potential business partner turned off. Remember, you’re dressing to impress the client you want! The best thing you can do to make that leap from wallflower to wildflower is to follow classic business dress rules for your first meeting or two to gauge the situation. Start with a fresh face and apply natural looking makeup. Craving a little bit of bold? A classic red lip is a great way to add a little sass! Next, use basic wardrobe pieces to create a strong foundation for your outfit. A pencil skirt paired with a buttoned up white top and a cool statement necklace makes a feminine, but classic statement. Just can’t kick the urge to accessorize? Throw on a fun statement heel. It’ll up your confidence knowing you’re rocking your favorite shoes.
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
There are some overlapping techniques between public speaking and speaking up at a conference table. The first is that the person who cares the most— is you.
You’ve seen the graphic. There are two bubbles— one stating “Where the magic happens,” and the other “Your comfort zone.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they don’t overlap. The first step to getting out of your comfort zone is the hardest one. Next time you’re in a meeting and you have an idea, write it down.
Writing it down serves as a constant reminder any time you look down to take notes that you have a great idea for the topic at hand! Send a follow up email after the meeting, thanking everyone for their time and quietly sneak in your suggestion. This takes a little bit of the pressure off, so you can feel more comfortable to bring it up again, out loud, in your next meeting.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, MAKES PERFECT
- There is no such thing as perfect, but there are vast improvements— the likes of which you will never see if you don’t work on it at home. You’re not going to wake up one day and be a clutch public speaker. And, contrary to what you may think, not even the very best public speakers were simply born with the knack.
There are plenty of famous known introverts that have had very public careers— Steve Jobs and Sheryl Sandberg to name two. You might be thinking, what? How?! They’ve been able to get up in front of millions of viewers to give speeches on television and at conferences. It’s true, but it also goes to show that if you want something bad enough, nothing will hold you back. Practice every day until you feel like you’ve got the hang of it, then stand up in the boardroom and knock it out of the park!
FAILURE ALSO MAKES PERFECT
You probably just read that title and thought “Um, what?!” But, hear us out. Every business woman you know has had a flop idea, been shut down in a business meeting by an unprofessional colleague, or has totally botched their presentation to a client. Failure is an important part of the process because it teaches you how to navigate those awkward and uncomfortable moments so you can come out on top next time! When these things happen, take a bit of a breather and go over what happened.
How can you be better prepared? What steps can you take to diffuse a situation? How can you transform your idea to better fit your client’s needs? Then the next time you’re faced with potential setback, use what you’ve learned to kick butt and take names!
There’s enough success to go around, so practice your pitches, dress to impress, and don’t be afraid of failure. Every experience gets you one step closer taking over the world!