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The 4/4/4…

Preparing for a new business pitch, job interview, first meeting, class presentation, wedding toast or dinner out with someone new – and feeling a little nervous? It happens to most of us, and it can be difficult to slow down or squash your racing heart, shaking hands, dry throat or other feelings of angst. What if I stumble, talk too fast, forget my lines, draw a blank on their name?

The most important thing you can do is practice, practice, practice – on your own, with your team or group, in front of your family or friends. Also:

  • Anticipate and think through possible questions and have solutions or potential scenarios on the ready.
  • Go above and beyond in your research.
  • Find anecdotes about your audience.
  • Delve into history of your client’s business or potential new company, and provide interesting bits of information or how you can add value.
  • Grab a mint or have a few sips of water prior to speaking.

And then there’s the 4/4/4…for four seconds each: breathe in through your nose, hold your breath, breathe out through your mouth. Did you find yourself doing this just now? The 4/4/4 can help to:

  • relax your mind;
  • visualize yourself confident and comfortable in the anticipated scenario;
  • as well as quell some of the inward and outward nervousness you may have.

Be mindful of, and rely on, the 4/4/4 as often as you need to: it can be calming and advantageous in a wide variety of professional and personal settings.