In every domain or job type, our leadership readiness is measured in part by our willingness to speak up in a meeting.
What to speak, how to speak is the epitome of our behavior and personality. I am mentioning here few life-transforming public speaking HACKS. Try them, they are always going to work.
Prepare a few bullets in advance: I was deathly afraid of public speaking early in my career. In order to overcome that fear, I challenged myself to speak up at every single meeting and prepared comments or questions in advance. This habit of preparing notes added a lot of confidence and authenticity to my public speaking. Don’t wait for inspiration to hit in the meeting; prepare in advance.
Ask, “why you?”: This is a question I would recommend people ask before they craft a presentation, walk into a meeting, or even prepare for a networking event. It means, why do you care about what you do, about your organization, or about your role? Answering this question helps you connect with a sense of purpose and builds your confidence. It reminds you that you’re speaking up not to show off but because you truly care about the subject. It reminds you that your credit doesn’t come solely from your title or years of experience but can also come from your commitment and passion.
Pause and breathe to build your confidence: Speaking up in a meeting takes courage. You have the ability to affect the trajectory of the conversation, potentially guiding your client towards saying yes to a deal when your colleagues have taken the meeting off track. Pausing and breathing helps center you and strengthens your voice so that when you do speak up, you speak with the full weight of your conviction. While you pause, ask yourself, “If one other person in this room has the same question, am I willing to ask on behalf of that person?” The answer should build your confidence. A client recently shared that she had used this technique to ask a question — in public — at a large conference, and her question changed the direction of the entire panel discussion, shedding light on a critical issue that the panel had been avoiding.
With that being said, sometimes it’s the person who says the least in a meeting who has the most power. Your executive presence comes from being strategic about when you speak up in addition to what you say.
Remember – “If you can speak, you can influence. If you can influence, you can change lives.” – Rob Brown
IT Professional | Avid Reader | Aspiring Life Coach | Love to Write