Being in a room filled with powerful men can be intimidating, especially if you’re the only woman. The corporate world has been a male-dominated industry for a long time. The good thing is women are now playing a more significant role. However, you will still feel intimidated being with people who hold too much power. You also don’t know if you’re getting their approval. Here’s what you must do if given such an opportunity.
Just because you’re the only woman in the room doesn’t mean you’re inferior. You’re just as smart as anyone else in the room. You’re even more skilled at what you do than anyone else. Enter the room with an optimistic view. It’s the only way to survive a tough environment. If you already feel defeated even before things begin, it can adversely impact your presentation.
Prepare what to say
Some men in the room might already have biases against you. They think you’re not capable of doing an excellent job. They might also belittle your skills. Prove them wrong by preparing what to say. Prepare the responses to possible questions. It also helps if you present in a room with a projector on the ceiling. It’s easier to project the slides and let your ideas come across to everyone in the room. Arrive early at the location of your presentation and check if everything you need is there. You will also feel more confident if you get a feel of the meeting room environment.
Don’t let anyone define you
Even if you see those terrible stares from every person across the room, it doesn’t mean you’re not good at what you do. So forget those looks and focus on doing an excellent job. If these people had already defined your capability before you started, it’s on them. Once you prove them wrong, their attitude towards you will change.
Don’t define others
You shouldn’t do the same if you don’t want these men to define you. It isn’t very good if you do so. It’s not only a gender issue; it’s also about biases towards people in general. You can’t be among the perpetrators if you want to fight it. When some people in the room go beyond the line, prepare to fight back. Otherwise, treat it like any other meeting.
Hopefully, the presentation remains smooth, and you achieve your goal. It might be challenging, given the dynamics in the room, but you can do it. Again, after proving your worth, people will treat you differently. If you feel like you didn’t do well, keep trying. Being a woman has nothing to do with your inability to do the job. You might need more preparation. You also need to understand the subject of your presentation. Take criticisms and use them to be better. There’s always a chance to do better than before. Don’t let one mistake define you and stop you from doing better next time.