In any typical workplace, there exists a time when you get asked a question that is unexpected and you get stuck with the recurrent “ermmm” or the time you are in a meeting and you get called upon to give your own opinion but you do not have a reply so you are stuttering your way to an answer that leaves you looking worse than you would have if you didn’t answer. This happens to a lot of us and it shouldn’t be a time to despise but more of a lesson.
Getting caught off guard can be better handled so here are a list of ways to become ready, confident and eloquent if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
- Take a deep breath and calm down.
This is the first step to handle this situation because it helps you finds your footing before you begin your response with a weak phrase like “Errmmm”. Most times, the question being asked can be so stunning that you get nervous and begin to stammer or stutter. In such situations, its best to just take a second to breathe and calm down so you can recollect your thoughts before you give a response.
- Avoid looking shocked or freezing.
Yes you have been asked a question that has thrown you off balance but even if you do not have an answer, it is best to avoid looking shocked and just maintain eye contact while you collate your thoughts.
- Avoid giving a response immediately.
At this point, try to make sure that you have all thoughts gathered, arranged and in bullet points in your head before you begin to answer but in the case where you are still stunned, please maintain silence or politely ask to be allowed to think for a bit. You need to forget what other people would think of you and allow yourself think before providing a response.
- Analyse the situation.
A question might be thrown at you just to hear your opinion on the matter and at this point, you need to ask yourself the following important questions; “Do I know what is being asked of me?” “Do I have an answer?” “Do I have a perspective?” “Is a response needed from me at this very time?” “What can I possibly say to make this person happy?” These questions would help you know the next step to take.
- Be Confident and Eloquent.
After analysing the situation and asking yourself the important questions to get your thoughts together, you need to make sure you channel enough confidence so that you do not sound nervous or scared when you begin talking. If you need to, look at the forehead of the person who is questioning you to remove any form of intimidation you might feel but it is best to always maintain eye contact with the person questioning you to let them know you are not afraid. At this point, you need to be eloquent as well because it works hand in hand with your confidence and avoid any form stutter or stammer.
- Give your point of view
You might want to sound smart and not give your opinion because you feel like it will not be appreciated but a question arises at this point, How will you know if you do not try? It’s best to give your candid opinion with confidence and in an eloquent manner and get a correction in return than to be perceived as dormant. In this case, receive any replies you get for your opinion with all ears and be willing to accept correction.
To perfect being ready, confident and eloquent doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a while for you to get all the steps right but you have to make sure that you always keep them in mind and its assured that you will be ready, confident and eloquent in no time