Tips on Maintaining Your Composure When Under the Spotlight

From job interviews to on-the-job presentations, being in the spotlight can be intimidating. When given opportunities to highlight your skills and leadership abilities, it is important to maintain your composure and perform at peak levels. Staying calm and poised when you are under the spotlight is not easy. But those who manage to keep their cool tend to be successful.

If you struggle to maintain composure when you’re under the spotlight, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to cope with pressure at work.

Now, let’s take a look at a few tips to help you stay relaxed in the workplace.



Being prepared before you go for the job interview or into a presentation is crucial. How can someone ever be fully prepared when the questions cannot be predicted?

Practice the basics before a job interview or presentation. Run through “what if” situations.

Before a job interview, prepare answers to common questions. It can be helpful to conduct a mock interview with a family member or friend. This gives you a chance to practice for an interview. When your interview arrives, you’ll be well-equipped to maintain your composure.

To get ready for a client presentation, think about the most likely questions or interruptions. Consider the client’s perspective and why someone would check out your presentation in the first place. From here, you can tailor your presentation and how it’s delivered to your target audience.

The bottom line: practice makes perfect. The more you practice for job interviews and presentations, the more confident you’ll feel when you complete them.


Don’t allow emotions to get in the way.

Seasoned professionals know not to wear their emotions on their sleeves. They don’t get overly animated when things get tough. In fact, the best business experts have emotional self-control, to the point that their body language does not give them away.

If you allow your emotions to get in the way, employers and potential clients interpret this as a sign you are being too passionate and biased about the situation at hand. Fortunately, you can maintain your composure and still express concern and care, without letting your emotions become a distraction.

At times when you feel your emotions may be disruptive, take a step back. In these instances, it can be helpful to break away from the situation. Get some fresh air, go for a walk, and do what you need to do to calm your nerves. When you return to the situation, you can keep your emotions in check.

Take care of your body and mind, too. Enjoy snacks and meals and get regular exercise. This helps ensure you’ll feel physically and mentally prepared to handle any challenges that come your way. Plus, you can put yourself in a great position to establish and maintain a healthy work-life balance.


Be fearless.

Exude confidence and be fearless in all professional settings. Remember, confidence is contagious. If you start to feel fear creeping in, ask yourself: What is the worst thing that can happen? After all, every situation is manageable and has a resolution.

Of course, confidence won’t develop overnight. Yet you can take small steps to build your confidence over time.

For instance, if you dread business meetings, make it a point to speak up the next time you meet up with business colleagues. This can help you overcome your fear of speaking in front of a group of peers. It can provide an instant and long-lasting boost of confidence as well.


Build solution shelves to respond decisively.

Being decisive is an important skill that can be developed. There’s no need to think on your feet when you’ve already done the thinking. Instead, go back to your “what if” scenarios.

If a key stakeholder doesn’t show, what’s the solution? Put the answer on your shelf.

Comparatively, if an interviewer asks for documentation you don’t have with you, what do you do? Put the answer on your shelf.

The more situations you prepare and shelve, the more prepared you’ll be. And if you put your solutions on mental shelves when you’re faced with a tough situation, all you have to do is reach for the appropriate solution.


Give 100%

Too much pressure to perform well often results in stress. Extreme stress can cause paralysis. It can make it virtually impossible to live life to the fullest extent. Also, it can impact your relationships with family members and friends. Extreme stress can even damage your career.

Don’t let stress get the best of you. Accept stress for what it is. Then, you can give 100% of yourself in all that you do. And you can limit the risk that stress will control your life.

Furthermore, don’t strive for perfection. Rather, give 100% and do your best every day, for as long as you can.

While giving 100% may not mean you complete everything on your to-do list. But when you finish your work day, you can take solace in the fact that you did your best. You’ll be able to go home feeling confident in your abilities. Your boss will also notice your hard work, and that can translate into a promotion, praise, or even a raise.


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