How to communicate well when stressed out
In business, during moments of high stress, teams and support systems become our greatest asset. Why? Because it’s in these survival-type moments that we innately know “2 heads are better than 1.” Ironically though, it’s also at these moments our communication skills tend to break down.
Here are three things you can do to ground your communication skills in moments of high stress (delivering a presentation or pitch, meeting a deadline, or having a difficult conversation at work):
1️⃣ Make eye contact! Our brains are on overdrive during stress and we struggle to slow down our thoughts enough to connect with the people around us. To ground yourself, make eye contact with the person you’re speaking with or with individuals in your audience if you’re speaking to a group.
2️⃣ Write down your main points before you say them. We tend to ramble when we’re stressed and our thoughts come out clunky and difficult to follow. If you write down some of your main points or even a simple statement on what your number one objective is, it will help keep your communication on track.
3️⃣ Remind yourself to be curious. When stress is high, so is our concern for ourselves. We become a bit self-obsessed and struggle to lean in to the person or people were speaking with. However, if you take the mindset of curiosity, and do everything in your power to listen to other people or take the mindset of being a ‘teacher’ during a presentation, there’s a lot less pressure to perform and it feels like you’re not alone in the arena.