Contributing to Meetings with Confidence

Contributing to Meetings with Confidence

So, you work hard and feel that you have some good ideas to contribute but find speaking up in meetings difficult. You may be less confident than some but not speaking up creates the wrong impression to those around you.

Meetings in the workplace are a necessary part of work and in the age of social media and emails rather than directly communicating, it is easy to feel out of your comfort zone when you are expected to have an opinion.

Here are some strategies to help you cope:

Be Prepared: Request a copy of the Agenda prior to the meeting.  Makes notes of where you feel you could contribute confidently with opinion and ideas.  Think through some potential questions or issues and appraise yourself of who is attending.

Arrive early: This may give you the chance to gain some confidence and introduce yourself to new colleagues as they arrive.  You could chat with colleagues who you haven’t seen for a while, allowing you to feel more comfortable in the environment whilst building a rapport.

Listen: Don’t make the cardinal sin of jumping in with an opinion whilst another colleague is speaking.  Whilst it is not only very rude, how would you feel if you had built yourself up to deliver your ideas and thoughts and another colleague kept interrupting you?  Hear them out and then give your opinion.

Pick your battles: If you disagree with a colleague, think before you speak.  Don’t ‘out’ somebody in front of everyone else, you can discuss it privately later.  You don’t want others in the meeting to wonder if you won’t have their backs in the future.

Positivity: If you feel there are problems with a particular project being discussed, try and communicate your concerns in a positive way.  It may that your colleague already has your concerns covered and it turns out you were wrong.

Delivery:  Keep your interaction brief and concise.  The worst thing in a meeting is for somebody to waffle on and you lose the ear of the audience.

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming. – Richard Branson

Contributing to Meetings with Confidence