If you're new to a position, you may be afraid to let your voice be heard. There are many reasons why people may be shy at work, ranging from being the new guy to feeling socially awkward. However, if you're not vocal, you may miss opportunities to get noticed and rewarded for your ideas. Consider these tips on how to speak up in a meeting.
- Speak up first If you constantly find that you doubt your ideas and struggle with expressing your ideas in a meeting, try to be one of the first to speak up.1 Don’t know what to say? You can repeat what another colleague said and explain why you agree. That way, you might not feel intimidated or overwhelmed by other people's ideas or voices. It also will show your boss that you’re a team player by supporting other people’s ideas. Aim to speak up within the first 10 minutes of the discussion, because the longer you wait, the more likely you are to begin to doubt your idea or comment.
- Realize you still have power Even if you're in a meeting with many people who are in higher positions than you, don't be afraid. Realize that good ideas can come from anyone. If you shoot out an idea and are dismissed by one of the higher-ups, don't be discouraged. Stand by your thoughts and explain yourself. If someone disagrees with your comment, listen to their reason why. You might learn something. Your team may be impressed with your confidence and fearlessness regardless of whether they agree with your idea.
- Prepare yourself Before a meeting, try to prepare a few ideas that you'd like to share. This will give you confidence and help you stay focused on your ideas. As soon as someone brings up the topic you've chosen, you can immediately speak up without missing a beat. Once you speak up in a meeting, you'll be more confident to do it again.
- Ask questions As the meeting or presentation goes on, ask questions. You’ll generate conversation and get more confidence to speak up again. You may also become a little more comfortable with the topic at hand and feel better about sharing your own opinion.
Good for you! You’ve already taken the first step in speaking up more by reading this article. Using these tips will help you contribute more to your team and help your cause be more successful. Remember, a good idea can come from anyone—especially you.