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  • Connie Jacobs-Walton

Tips for Speaking Up in Meetings

Do you ever find yourself sitting in a meeting with a brilliant idea or question in your mind, but you just can’t bring yourself to speak up? Many people struggle with speaking up in meetings, whether it’s due to anxiety, fear of rejection, or simply not wanting to appear unprofessional. However, sharing your thoughts and opinions is crucial for both personal growth and the success of your team or organization. Here are some tips for speaking up in meetings:

1. Prepare ahead of time

Before the meeting, take some time to prepare your thoughts and ideas. Jot down any questions you have, points you want to make, or concerns you want to address. This can help you feel more confident and organized when the time comes to speak up.

2. Choose your moment

Pay attention to the flow of the conversation and choose the right moment to speak up. Wait for a pause or a natural break in the conversation before speaking. This can help you avoid interrupting others and ensure that your point is heard.

3. Speak clearly and confidently

When it’s your turn to speak, take a deep breath and speak clearly and confidently. Avoid speaking too quickly or too softly, as this can make it difficult for others to hear or understand you. Project your voice and maintain eye contact with your colleagues to help you feel more confident and in control.

4. Listen actively

Listening actively is just as important as speaking up. Pay attention to what others are saying and show interest and engagement in the conversation. This can help you build rapport with your colleagues and create a more collaborative and productive environment.

5. Be concise

When speaking up in meetings, it’s important to be concise and to the point. Avoid rambling or going off on tangents, as this can make it difficult for others to follow your thoughts. Stick to your main point and support it with clear, concise examples or data.

6. Be open to feedback

When sharing your ideas or opinions, be open to feedback and criticism from others. This can help you refine your ideas and create better solutions. Remember that feedback is not a personal attack but rather an opportunity for growth and improvement.

7. Follow up

After the meeting, follow up on any action items or questions that were raised. This can help you demonstrate your commitment to the success of the team or organization and can also help you build stronger relationships with your colleagues.

Speaking up in meetings can be challenging, but it’s an important skill to develop for personal and professional growth. By following these tips, you can become more confident and effective in communicating your thoughts and ideas and contribute to the success of your team or organization. Your voice and ideas are valuable and deserve to be heard.

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