So, how to speak up in a meeting? When you are in corporate atmosphere, probably the word that you hear most number of times is ‘meeting’. Some of these are regular in nature, almost like routine work for routine updates and to make sure everyone is on the same ground, some are infrequent, probably held for some infrequent event and some are of extreme importance. No matter what type of a meeting it is or how the level of priority is, we have to attend many of these meetings. There are some meetings where you do not have to say anything, someone is may be putting forth a proposal and making a presentation and you are an attendee. But these types of meetings are almost extinct nowadays. Usually meetings are mostly interactive in nature and require lively participation, opinions, suggestions from the participants, no matter who they are, the presenter or the attendee, the boss or the team members. These meetings are some of the most crucial chances I would say for you to prove yourself, establish your position, and clarify your contribution. So, why not take the chance to prove yourself in a not-at-all desperate manner?
No matter how informal the meeting may be and how open you are with your peers and how close you are to your supervisors, meetings always create a wall of slight discomfort for some. What are the ways to cope with that? How to speak up in a meeting? How to present yourself in a bright and confident manner, rather than being lousy? Well, following are some suggestions that you can think about in order make a better appearance in a meeting:
· Be on time: the meeting time and location is usually communicated in advance in order to commence it in a disciplined manner. It’s a must that you reach the location before time. You must never be late. If you are, then no matter how much you want to keep that out of your head, it always comes back ticking inside your head and makes your confidence a bit shaky. So, if you want to make a good appearance all throughout the meeting, then be on time and don’t give others a chance to frown at you when you enter the room interrupting their discussion.
· Be prepared: usually the meeting agenda and the scope are also communicated to the attendees in advance so that they know what they are going to go through and what they are going to discuss about. This opportunity can be taken advantage of. If you are an attendee of the meeting you are sure to have at least some preliminary knowledge about the topic(s) of discussion. Moreover, if you want your presence to be noted and you want to make meaningful contribution to the gathering, you should come prepared. For example, you may go through if there are initial/primary data on the topics already available. Even if there are not any, you should look up the internet and get some idea. This will save you any possible embarrassment that might come across for not being numb on the matters. Usually there are segments during the end of the meeting where there are discussion or question/answer sessions. During these sessions, participation and contributions are highly encouraged. You should only give your opinion if they are feasible in nature and possible to implement in a cost effective manner. Try not to make any suggestions that are not possible to build upon and you are doing so just to capture attention. Staying silent rather than speaking up in an irrelevant manner is more applicable.
· Be appropriately dressed: when we are in the middle of a meeting, especially when you are making a statement and people are staring at you, most of us are a bit embarrassed and overly cautious of our appearance. In order to avoid this, be properly dressed. Let not your improper dressing take away the attention from what you are saying to what you are wearing.
· Chose words carefully and be listenable: only speaking up will not do. Often people come up with brilliant suggestions but due to lack of enthusiasm, they sound boring and do not reach anywhere above the ear. People hear but do not listen. So, choose your words carefully and make your speech with well chosen lively words.
These are some of the things that you need to look after and you will see that speaking up in a meeting is nothing but an easy task. So, go ahead, make your speech and get noticed!