7 phrases to help you keep your cool in stressful meetings

Meetings with higher-ups or departments who don’t understand your work can be stressful. Here are some ways to keep such meetings productive and pain free.

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Presenting yourself as a creative professional comes with a special kind of pressure. You represent not only yourself, but your work. Not only will people examine your appearance and performance, but the things you create with your hands, heart and mind.

This aspect of being a creative professional comes with a heady combination of highs and lows. The thrills that come from the creation process come with a big dose of anxiety and vulnerability. How will others receive our work?

Sometimes during a stressful pitch or negotiation, we feel overwhelmed. These meetings are important; they are critical for our future. But in extreme circumstances you may find that your vision narrows, ears pound, stomach gets upset or any number of other sensations. You might even find yourself with nothing to say. These feelings can happen to anyone.

Continuing the meeting and trying to suppress the feelings won’t work. The discomfort will likely return.

What works is taking direct action. If you need a minute to get your thoughts together, take a break from the discussion and say something like:

1. “I’ll just take a moment to think about this. I’ll be back in a minute.” Rise from your chair and leave the room.

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