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Develop the confidence to speak up at meetings

Develop the confidence to speak up at meetings

Are you generally quiet at meetings?

Do you tend to observe what’s going on, but hesitate to get involved?

I bet you’ve gone through the following scenario a hundred times:

There you are in the meeting, listening attentively trying so desperately to contribute to the conversations that are taking place.

Sometimes you’re not even listening at all because you are too busy thinking of what you could possibly say!

The person with the biggest mouth is having his or her say, the same old people are talking.

Then “POW! ZAP!” you have a great idea or have a really valuable thing to say but you don’t say it!

You’re too scared. You are frightened that the idea is going to be rubbish or that it is too obvious.

You decide to say nothing!

Then, all of a sudden, as if someone has read your mind, another person comes out with exactly what you were thinking and takes all kinds of credit for it!

“That could and should have been me!” you think and then your confidence takes a massive blow.

I heard a great quote that went:

“It’s better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid rather than open your mouth and remove any doubt”

The first thing you should think to yourself is that you are at the meeting for a reason.

That reason is to take in information as well as to share information yourself.


I’d like you to write down a list of all of the times when you have thought of something to say in a meeting but didn’t.

I bet it will be a long list!

Now, just think of all of the plaudits and credit you COULD have got if only you had opened your mouth.

Next to each item write down how it would have made you feel if you would have said it.

What credit would you have got for it?

How does it make you feel now that you have written all of this down?

Confidence starts with making small changes and than making them a habit.

Next time…  

Before the meeting – what to think and do

Before you go into your next meeting I want you to go over the list you have written during this exercise.

Visualise yourself in the meeting talking with confidence and getting your point across.

Get psyched up to make a telling contribution at this meeting but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have any ideas.

Have a look at the agenda before you go into the meeting, make some rough notes about the subjects that are going to be covered.

As yourself in advance:

  • What do I know about the agenda items?
  • What could I contribute to this item?
  • Does this item have an effect on me or my department?
  • What questions could I ask?
  • What do I need to know about these agenda items?

Go in as prepared as you can be with the resources at your disposal.

When you are prepared, you feel confident.

What to think, say and do in the meeting

Sometimes, you don’t have anything to say and that’s ok – don’t beat yourself up about it.

Where I am coming from here is when you HAVE got something to say but DON’T!

Confidence comes from starting on a small scale and building upon successes.

Therefore, for your next meeting make a decision to say the first idea that you have and see what happens.

At the end of the day, you have got nothing to lose and people will probably feel better towards you if you say something rather than if you say nothing at all.

Success breeds success and confidence breeds confidence.

A great skill that you should master is the forgotten art of is LISTENING!

Yes, you read it correctly!

A lot of people in meetings just take it in turns talking rather than communicating effectively.

One person has their say then another has theirs. Each person has their own opinions and agenda and unfortunately this is often at the expense of others feelings and wants.

So what does this mean?

Well, this means instead of thinking what to say – actually listen really hard to what is being said and ask questions about the subject matter.

Go into the meeting with the mindset that you are there to communicate rather than just have your say about agenda items and you will be surprised about the outcome!

Remember, give it a go – you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and then you will be wondering about what all of the fuss was about!

The next time will then be a synch!

10 reasons why you can and should confidently speak up at meetings.

Let me give you 10 reasons why you can, and should speak up at meetings:

1. The team needs you…every individual on a team has a role to play, something to contribute—even if it’s just to play devil’s advocate—you included

2. You’re breathing—that means you have an opinion…so share it!

3. The constant talkers need a break…don’t you think?

4. The facilitator/chairperson might be battling with whether or not to invite you into the conversation…let her know you’re present and paying attention

5. A good facilitator/chairperson will call on those who are not contributing as much in an effort to get everyone involved anyway…it might as well be a moment you choose to get involved

6. The meeting will go faster

7. It’s good for your career

8. It’s good for you

9. In preparation for the meeting, outline 3 things you want to say

10. You’re a brilliant individual, so why not share your brilliance with others!

Remember these final words!

In 30 years time will anyone really give a thought to what you said in the meeting?!


In fact they will not give a thought about it tomorrow!



This article is one of 200 that can be found in ConfidenceWorld GOLD




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