To overcome this biological reaction, it helps if you:
- Prepare as many ideas, angles and scenarios before the meeting.
- Practice the words you might say in the meeting. Speak them out loud, repeat them several times until they feel familiar in your mouth.
- Get to the point as succinctly as possible, but don't rush your words.
- Sit up straight and speak in a confident manner - often people don't notice what you say, but how.
- Belly-breathe before the meeting. This will calm you and help you find a deeper timbre to your voice.
- If you want to introduce your idea in a low-key manner, you might like to use words like "Have we thought about...."
- If you disagree with something but aren't comfortable with confrontation, say, "Just to play devil's advocate..."