Much like I referenced in the Speech Day article, it is important to set a good tone from the outset in every event you do. I’ve found this to be true for public speaking, running ultra-marathons, competing in wrestling or MMA and hosting meetings. The tone that starts the event will often carry through to impact the overall event and its outcome.
When runners start races too fast or fighters open a bout with an onslaught of strikes, they spike their heart rates and need a moment to bring it down before reaching a steady state. When meetings start on a negative note, it will be difficult to shake that tone through the rest of the meeting. This is why it is so important to do the right pre-game activity entering the event with the right mindset.
Before races or speeches I listen to comedy shows, get out my first wind and take on the event. Before difficult meetings I make it a point to complete something rewarding to enter the meeting with a positive and productive mindset. Whether you realize it or not, you’ll convey a mood that will persist, may as well make it a good one!